UK Plans Circus Animals Ban

The British government is moving toward a ban on the use of wild animals in circus performances.


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The British government has announced its intentions to ban wild animals in circus performances, with one minister calling the practice “outdated.” The announcement follows a campaign, spearheaded by British animal-welfare organizations, to end the use of wild animals in circuses—a movement that intensified after footage emerged of animal trainers abusing a circus elephant last year. Government officials say they expect the ban to be enacted before the next parliamentary election in 2015. In the meantime, they plan to implement a stricter licensing system for circuses to ensure that animal-welfare standards are met. British animal-welfare minister Lord Taylor says, “There is no place in today’s society for wild animals being used for our entertainment in traveling circuses … Wild animals deserve our respect.”

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