Wild Animals (Circuses)

Part of Backbench Business — [29th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:13 pm on 23rd June 2011.

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Photo of Angie Bray Angie Bray Conservative, Ealing Central and Acton 5:13 pm, 23rd June 2011

I certainly agree that we need a ban, although I am just a little worried about whether the time frame is practical; I will come back to that issue later, if I may.

I want to put it on record that I am not in favour of banning all animals from circuses. I think that some of the more domesticated animals—dogs and ponies spring to mind—thoroughly enjoy themselves. I recall going to a charming little circus in France where a farmer, his wife, their two children, a goat and a dog held us all spellbound for about an hour. I can say that that dog and goat had a good time, getting a treat every time they did something brilliant. We know that there is room for some animals; it is the big wild animals that are the problem.

In conclusion, I want a ban on wild animals in circuses. I recognise, however, that there might be certain legal obstacles to getting that straight away. A time frame of one year is perhaps a little impractical. I am not an expert on EU law, but I know that before a ban of this sort could be introduced, there would have to be consultation and a way would have to found to re-home these 39 animals. That is why I intend to abstain this evening. However, I also put the Government on notice that I want to see a ban and want them to do whatever they must to introduce a ban as practicably as they can.