Traveling Circus Animals and Wild Animal Exploitation Soon to Banned in UK in 2020

August 16, 2019 Updated: August 17, 2019

To the audience, it’s fascinating watching circus animals perform difficult tricks. While the people enjoy the show, for the animals, it’s a different story.

The United Kingdom will join supporting countries to finally put a stop to allowing traveling circuses to use wild animals such as reindeer, zebras, and camels in performances.

BREAKING VICTORY: UK Parliament finally passed a bill to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses across England. 🐪🦓🐆❤️

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Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced on May 1 that the bill was introduced to Parliament, and the ban will go into effect on Jan. 19, 2020. He stated, “Travelling circuses are no place for wild animals in the 21st century and I am pleased that this legislation will put an end to this practice for good.”

Research done by VOX, reported in NAVS, indicated that circus animals are kept in chains or cages 96 percent of the time and can travel up to 100 consecutive hours in very confined spaces.

The ban will come into effect next year.

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Circus animals are often stuffed into cramped cages and barren trailers, where simply stretching their limbs may be difficult or impossible. They’re abused to learn tricks by punishment, receiving beatings frequently. They’re also left to starve in unsanitary conditions.

“Animal Defenders International [ADI] has been documented suffering and abuse in UK circuses for more than 20 years and this long-awaited measure will stop circus suffering in England, and take us another step closer to the UK-wide ban the public want and the animals need,” said Jan Creamer, the president of ADI.

By 2020

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Animal rights organizations, such as PETA, have been advocating for years to rescue the animals from maltreatment. PETA has been contacting their Members of Parliament on many occasions since 2011 and has drafted a petition that gathered tens of thousands of signatures. Even well-known stars such as Little Mix and Ashleigh and Pudsey were involved with the campaign, featuring in PETA ads to raise awareness.

Other groups such as the RSPCA, the Born Free Foundation, and ADI have also worked many years campaigning for animal protection.

For years, Parliaments had been promising to enact the ban, giving hope to these organizations. After years of promises unfulfilled, the legislation announcement has finally arrived.

Government officials and animal rights groups are ecstatic upon hearing the announcement; their efforts have not been in vain.

©Shutterstock | David Tadevosian

“We really welcome the Government introducing a Bill to ban the outdated practice of using wild animals in circuses,” said David Bowles, the Head of Public Affairs at the RSPCA. “We’ve campaigned against having wild animals in circuses for many years. They have complex needs that cannot be properly met in a circus environment.”

A growing number of countries are supporting this legislation. As of July 2017, nine members of the European Union have announced the ban. Ireland and Scotland placed it in effect in 2018, and a similar bill has been introduced in Wales. Countries around the world such as Mexico, Colombia, and India have all banned wild animals in traveling circuses as well.

Jana Lacey-Krone during Circus Krone celebrates premiere of “Hommage” at Circus Krone on Feb. 1, 2018, in Munich, Germany. (©Getty Images | Hannes Magerstaedt)

They’re “wild” animals; their habitat is in the wilderness, not in locked-up cages. Forcing them to perform dangerous tricks for human entertainment under cruel conditions is inhumane. Animal exploitation should not exist in a loving and compassionate society.