Wild Animals (Circuses)

Part of Backbench Business — [29th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 4:18 pm on 23rd June 2011.

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Photo of Jim Dowd Jim Dowd Labour, Lewisham West and Penge 4:18 pm, 23rd June 2011

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that intervention; I suspect that he might be on to something.

I am puzzled because this is a relatively minor issue: as I say, somewhere between 36 and 40 animals are involved. Caroline Lucas quoted the British Veterinary Association. Andrew Rosindell did not grasp the difference between domesticated and captive animals. Captive animals may still be wild and nowhere near domesticated. Even until the nth generation, they remain wild and their instincts are those of wild creatures. The British Veterinary Association said that in captivity in circuses, there are no circumstances under which such animals can demonstrate their natural behaviour. That will remain the case, regardless of a regulatory scheme. The big disadvantage of a regulatory scheme is that it would be a more complicated way of dealing with the matter and it would be much more likely to increase, not reduce, the number of wild animals being used in circuses.