- Millions of hens will have their beaks mutilated; game birds will remain in cages; pigs, sheep and cows in abattoirs will lose crucial protection from abuse; badgers will be culled and lions, tigers and other wild animals will continue to perform in the big top.
- In a series of little-noticed moves, the Coalition has scrapped or stalled Labour initiatives to improve animal welfare some weeks before they were due to come into force.
We share the planet with others species - they are not there to be exploited. What is more, how we treat animals is a clear marker of how civilised our society is.
Greens know this - this is out today from Caroline:
Caroline Lucas today announced her support for a campaign led by Animal Defenders International (1) to finally end the suffering of wild animals in the handful of British circuses where this still happens.
Accusing the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition of continuing to toy with self-regulation despite years of continuing evidence of animal abuse, Animal Defenders International (ADI) has stepped up its campaign with the launch of a film portraying some of the violence against elephants, tigers and other animals in several UK circuses over the last fifteen years (2).
Caroline Lucas said today:
“There is simply no justification in the 21st century for the continued use of wild animals in circuses. The once-popular travelling freak shows have been relegated to the past where they belong – now the UK must ensure the same fate for animal circuses by finally bringing a ban into force.
“I share the concerns of ADI and other animal welfare groups that self-regulation of animal welfare in the circus industry is doomed to fail. The Government can only halt the abuse of captive animals kept for so-called ‘entertainment’ via an outright ban, which polls suggest the majority of British people support.”
Caroline Lucas and 142 other politicians have now signed a parliamentary Early Day Motion, EDM 403, calling for the wild animal ban to be implemented.
“...an industry where random acts of violence and cruelty are commonplace”
Jan Creamer, chief executive of Animal Defenders International said: “We applaud Caroline Lucas MP for helping strike a blow for wild animals currently languishing in UK circuses.
“We have recently learnt that even now, after five years, Government is still toying with the idea of self-regulation for the UK circus industry, even though they have already looked at this option on numerous occasions.
“Does Government really believe that the circus industry will adhere to self-regulation and suddenly stop the mistreatment and abuse of animals in their care as clearly evidenced in our video, because they ask them to – they cannot be serious, surely?
“Self-regulation cannot work in an industry where random acts of violence and cruelty are commonplace and there is no discipline, structure, and no way to enforce regulations. If government needs an overwhelming case to abandon consideration of self-regulation and immediately enact a ban on the use of wild animals in UK circuses then this video contains all they require.”
A statement issued by ADI today says that “Any potential u-turn on a ban by government would show contempt of the promise made by the previous government five years ago to ban wild animals in circuses and the 94.5% of respondents to the Defra public consultation in March 2010 who have backed a ban on wild animal acts."
ADI point out that national measures to prohibit or limit the use of animals in circuses have been adopted in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Singapore, Bolivia, Costa Rica, India and Israel and similar laws are currently being discussed in Brazil, Chile, Norway, Peru and Greece.
1. Animal Defenders International (ADI) is a leading animal protection organisation working globally for the protection of animals. ADI has offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota and campaigns to protect animals in entertainment, for the replacement of animals in experiments and on issues such as the worldwide traffic in endangered species, factory farming, pollution and conservation. ADI also rescues animals in distress worldwide. ADI-gathered evidence has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them.
2. The film Self Regulation for UK circuses: Are They Serious?, which contains disturbing scenes, can be viewed at http://bit.ly/d8976H. A time Code Index which explains what and who appears on the video and in which year can be provided by ADI. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.