United Kingdom to Ban Wild Animal Circuses

The British government will ban the exploitation of wild animals in traveling circuses by 2020 after a 20-year-campaign by animal-rights group Animal Defenders International.


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The United Kingdom announced this week that it will ban wild-animal circuses across the country by 2020. The UK government has intended to ban circuses since 2012, when regulations were introduced to mitigate animal-welfare concerns until the ban came into effect. “The government does not intend to renew the regulations as it intends to ensure that a legislative ban is introduced by then,” the government stated. “The regulations will then be allowed to expire.” The government’s decision was greatly influenced by long-time campaigns against the exploitation of wild animals led by animal-rights group Animal Defenders International (ADI). “Having campaigned to stop circus suffering around the world for over 20 years, we’re delighted that a ban is finally imminent,” ADI president Jan Creamer said. “Circuses cannot meet the needs of animals in small, mobile accommodation, and ADI has repeatedly documented suffering and abuse. We congratulate the UK government on consigning this outdated act to the past where it belongs.” A growing list of more than 40 countries around the world have implemented a ban on wild-animal circuses, while 2017 was the last year that 146-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus operated in the United States.