Part of Wild Animals in Circuses (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 22nd May 2019.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water) 10:00 am, 22nd May 2019

I agree with my hon. Friend, and that leads into a question about the powers and consequences of the Bill. As a country, we have a number of pieces of good animal welfare legislation. Indeed, we are on the cusp of considering what is animal welfare legislation—meaning in the welfare of the animal—and what is a moral ban. This Bill will be enacted on ethical grounds. We, as a Parliament and a country, have decided that keeping wild animals in circuses is no longer something that we as a society want to participate in or to see. That legitimate and genuine concern is held by Members across the Committee and by our constituents. Beyond that, people want to know about the consequences for breaching these laws. Under existing protections for wild animals and other animal welfare provisions, certain types of punishment are already available. The new clause seeks to explore what punishments would be available to the courts for those offenders who continued to offend under the Act. Beyond that might be a civil sanction. I am trying to understand the consequences if someone breaks this law.