Wild Animals (Circuses)

Part of Backbench Business — [29th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:17 pm on 23rd June 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Liberal Democrat, Colchester 5:17 pm, 23rd June 2011

As the third signatory to this motion, I would like to congratulate my colleagues, the hon. Members for The Wrekin (Mark Pritchard) and for Poplar and Limehouse (Jim Fitzpatrick) on their positive speeches. I also pay tribute to Andrew Rosindell for his bravery in the lion’s den, as the only Member thus far to speak against the motion. That takes courage, and I congratulate him on that.

I detect the fingerprints of No. 10 Downing street on this. I have tabled a parliamentary question and I await the written answer with great interest. Opposing live animal acts in circuses is something that I first got involved with on 15 May 1971, when, as a borough councillor of 48 hours, I was contacted by Mr Murphy of Barrack street who urged me to get circuses banned from Colchester. I put that to the council, but I was a lone voice and nothing happened. A few years later, however, Colchester became one of the first local authorities in the country to ban circuses from its land and buildings. Unfortunately, we need a nationwide Government ban, because we still have a landowner in the town who I regret to say allows his land to be used for circuses. Circuses are barbaric; they have no place in a civilised society of the 21st century.