Dear [Insert Name]
As you may already be aware, on the 12th May 2011, Defra ministers announced their intention to implement a system of regulation with regard to the use of wild animals in circuses in England. This move came as a great disappointment to the general public, expert animal welfare organisations and Members of Parliament who have strongly supported a complete ban on the practice (see below for The Facts on the Ban).
The reasons given for the failure to ban – a potential breach of the EU Services Directive and the Human Rights Act – have been shown to be inaccurate. Defra’s own Regulatory Impact Report of 2009 has stated clearly that a ban would not be an infringement of human rights. The EC have stated on numerous occasions that the banning of wild animals in circuses is a matter for individual member states and this position has now been formally confirmed in writing.
A ban is the only way in which to protect wild animals from suffering in circuses in England. Defra ministers have stated on numerous occasions that the regulations are likely to lead to a reduction in wild animals in circuses, but welfare groups have long warned that the opposite will be true. Last week, a spokesperson for the circus industry confirmed the proposed regulations will encourage circus owners to bring more wild animals into the country.
At 3pm on Thursday, 23rd June, a backbench debate and vote will be held in the main chamber of the House of Commons on the subject of Wild Animals in Circuses. Please show your support for your constituents, the expert organisations, the Members of Parliament and, most importantly, the welfare of the wild animals currently held in circuses and the generations of those that will continue to suffer in the future if action is not taken.
Please attend the debate and vote for a ban.
Address and postcode
2010 – 94.5% of respondents support a ban
Liberal Democrats – support a ban as policy
Green Party – supports a ban as policy
189 MPs formally support a ban via EDM 403
Public Opinion Polls
1999 – 72% support a ban (MORI)
2005 – 80% support a ban (MORI)
2006 – 63% and 64% support a ban (Ipsos MORI and ICM)
2011 – 71% and 72% support a ban (ComRes and YouGov)
Independent petition in support of a ban, launched May 5th 2011 – 26,341 signatories
Petition in opposition to a ban, launched May 11th 2011 – 592 signatures
Institutional support for a ban
Animal Defenders International
Born Free Foundation
British Veterinary Association
Care for the Wild International
Captive Animals’ Protection Society