Wild Animals (Circuses)

Part of Backbench Business — [29th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 23rd June 2011.

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Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Labour, Kilmarnock and Loudoun 5:00 pm, 23rd June 2011

For once—perhaps the only time—it is a pleasure to follow Zac Goldsmith. I suspect that there might be many occasions on which we do not agree, but on this one we certainly do.

I want to make a short contribution because it is important that the House is seen to reflect public opinion and the views of our constituents. Like other hon. Members, I have many constituents who care passionately about animal welfare. They do not see it as part of a political agenda that they are working to for their own sake or to gain a position; they believe genuinely in what they argue. I pay particular tribute to one of my constituents, Maureen Rankin from Kilmarnock, who over the years has done a huge amount of work on the issue of wild animals in circuses. I am glad that the tone of debate has moved on from what was a fairly sparky beginning to starting to find consensus across the House and political parties. That is what the public are looking for on an issue such as this. There will be times when we disagree, and there will be nuances and differences.