UK Plans Circus Animals Ban

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


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has announced its intentions to ban wild animals in circus performances, with one minister calling the practice “outdated.”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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