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

My hon. Friend makes a very good point. I certainly was glad to hear, during the debate, that the Government have decided to offer a free vote, because it gives Members the opportunity genuinely to reflect the views of their constituents.

The arguments for the ban have been well rehearsed during the debate, so I do not want to go over them all again. It is important to recognise that the arguments being made by organisations such as OneKind, Animal Defenders International and the Born Free Foundation arise out of the view that has grown up over the years that it is no longer acceptable for animals to be used for entertainment in circuses. After many years in politics, albeit in another Parliament, I am glad to be with 95% of the public rather than trying to change opinion and argue my case, which was the position I was in when I first entered politics. It has been mentioned that several local authorities, including in Scotland, have already decided not to allow circuses with wild animals.