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 am sorry, but I am rapidly coming to the end of my time.

I share the views of hon. Members who are concerned about the use of performing animals, but I also have to react to and respect the legislation that we have enacted in this House in the past, and the reality is that section 12 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 does not allow ethical considerations to justify a ban, so I hope that in considering how to vote hon. Members will consider those points.

The Government are determined to stamp out cruelty to and the bad welfare of animals in circuses. We have put forward our proposals, and it is of course for the House to decide that we should perhaps reconsider them, but I ask the House to consider the legislative background against which it might ask us to do so.