Animal welfare: circuses and snaring

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31 December 2015

I completely agree that we need to move towards a ban on animals in circuses, and that is why I signed Early Day Motion EDM 403 in 2013, which opposes animals in circuses, just as I signed other EDMs in previous years. I very much share concerns that this issue was not in the Queen’s Speech. The Government clearly has no commitment to deliver what you want or what lots of Labour MPs like me have been campaigning for.

The issue came to Parliament in March 2015, thanks to the tireless campaigning of Labour MPs. However, the vote was sadly blocked by a few Conservative MPs. The new Government has promised to reintroduce the bill but legislation has been promised several times, and we are still waiting. I’m worried that the Government’s inaction is undermining the overwhelming view of MPs.

Furthermore, myself and the Labour Party fought on a strong animal welfare platform during the general election, and we campaigned for an independent review into the subject, including how to prevent non-target animals getting trapped in snares, as we also agree that the current provisions are not strong enough.

I am an animal lover. I hate to see unnecessary cruelty against animals. I backed a ban on hunting with dogs. I fought for new rules to ban animal testing on cosmetics. I have even reported cases of animal cruelty myself. I was happy the previous Government brought in a new Animal Welfare Bill, and that this placed a duty of care on anyone looking after animals. I do not like animals in circuses, and I do hope the campaign leads to real change, and an improvement in the quality of life of animals working in circuses. 



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