Banning wild animals in circuses - 06-24-2011, 10:11 AM
Just posting the interesting bits from this article; a lot of it is too boring to want to plough thru. XD
BBC News - MPs defy ministers and back ban on wild circus animals
MPs have defied the government and backed a ban on wild animals being used in circuses in England after a heated debate in Parliament.
Tory MP Mark Pritchard's motion was approved without a formal vote.
Earlier, he said he was "threatened" by No 10 and told the prime minister would look upon it "dimly" if he pressed ahead with the debate in the Commons.
Ministers said they would listen to MPs' views but that a ban was not "an immediate possibility".
The motion is not binding on the government but will increase pressure on ministers to act over the issue.
Downing Street said the government would "recognise the will of the House".
Only a handful of circuses in England keep wild animals which includes any non-domestic species, such as tigers, zebras and camels.
The RSPCA estimates 46 such animals are currently used in circus performance in the UK.
Mr Pritchard said this was cruel and outdated - comparing it to outlawed practices such as dog-fighting and badger-baiting - and insisted that the UK should "lead not lag the world" in animal welfare.
He argued there was overwhelming public support for a ban and more than 200 MPs supported the move.
The RSPCA says seven tigers are among wild animals currently used in travelling circuses
The government's preferred option is to introduce a licensing scheme and a tougher inspection regime for circus animals under the existing Animal Welfare Act.
Such an approach is currently the subject of consultation and has been welcomed by the circus industry which says cases of mistreatment are very rare.
But Lib Dem Bob Russell said circuses featuring wild animals were "barbaric and had no place in civilised society in the 21st Century".
I have to say that I agree with that sentiment. While using domesticated animals like horses and dogs is fair enough; I should think that we as a species have moved on from forcing wild animals like lions and elephants to perform tricks to amuse an ignorant public. We no longer set dogs on tethered bears; we no longer have public executions. Wild animals do not belong in circuses where they won't have the right care and will not get enough exercise. They're best off in the wild, or if not possible, then in zoos and wildlife parks that are carefully monitored to give animals the best home.