Wild Animals (Circuses)

Part of Backbench Business — [29th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:38 pm on 23rd June 2011.

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Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 5:38 pm, 23rd June 2011

I shall make a few more points before I give way. My hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin listed, as did other hon. Members, a range of other countries that have allegedly banned the use of wild animals in circuses. Many of those references were incorrect. A number of countries have selectively banned certain species. A number have rightly banned wild caught wild animals, which is a different issue. My hon. Friend and others speculated that licensing might mean more animals in circuses. I find that difficult to believe. I note the comments from the circuses that were mentioned, but we are not talking just about issuing a licence. We are talking about very tough licensing conditions for keeping such animals.