Circus Fiasco

by Admin - 15:48 on 22 December 2014


Bolivia, Peru, Greece, Cyprus, Paraguay, Colombia, Netherlands, Slovenia, Mexico…

Minor players on the world stage?  Countries without great wealth? 

Possibly – but way ahead of the UK in banning all or wild animals in circuses.


The following have enacted laws to restrict the use of animals to various extents:

Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, India, Israel, Malta,  Panama, Poland, Portugal, Singapore,  and Taiwan.

The British government has declared its commitment to similar legislation but has failed to introduce it, claiming that there is no Parliamentary time available to do so.  Jim Fitzpatrick’s attempt to bring about change via a Private Member’s Bill has been thwarted three times by a trio of maleficent Tory MPs:  Andrew Rosindell (Romford), Christopher Chope (Christchurch) and Philip Davies (Shipley).

Rosindell has demonstrated his wilful ignorance (or maybe intellectual deficiency) thus:

“The circus is a great British institution, which has proved that it has the high standards of welfare which are rightly expected of it, and I strongly believe that it deserves to be defended against the propaganda and exaggerations.  None have been taken from their natural habitat; all are from several generations of animals born in captivity.  I believe it would be much more cruel to remove them from the life they have always known in living and performing with their loving owners in the environment they are accustomed to.”

Doubtless in the 19th century he would have argued against the cessation of slavery on the grounds that those born into it would be happier if allowed to continue their familiar existence.

Part of the problem is our unfit-for-purpose political process which allows individuals to hijack private members bills by talking excessively until there is no time left for a vote.  It also apparently allows the likes of Davies to enjoy holidays at the expense of the British Fur Traders Association.  Our representatives should not accept gifts of any kind from anyone; they should be above suspicion and beyond reproach otherwise they are just not good enough.

Mr. Fitzpatrick’s bill appears to be scheduled for another reading on January 9th but one cannot hold out much hope of success until this government has been duly despatched by the electorate.

It is depressing that the country which I used to think of as “the most civilised” is lagging behind others which I have not so far thought of as the most enlightened.

Here is something much better: an introduction to Animal Defenders International’s “Operation of Spirit of Freedom” in which circus animals were successfully rescued from sometimes awful conditions in Peru. 



The filmed record of this evolved into the film Lion Ark which I cannot wait to see!

Individual lions or whole prides can be adopted on this link:  


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