Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Committee
Wild Animals In Circuses
HC 553, Fourth Report of Session 2013-14 - Volume I: Report, Together with Formal Minutes
- House of Commons - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The Committee report 'Wild Animals In Circuses (HC 553)' believes that the Government's plans to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses from late 2015 in England, should be more clearly and tightly defined.
The report recommends the draft Bill should have a schedule that contains a prescribed list of animals which can no longer be used in travelling circuses. A ban is supported on the use of big cat species and elephants, but not for example on camels, racoons, zebras or snakes. There should also be powers in the future to amend the list to reflect prevailing social and cultural attitudes.
The Committee does not agree that 'clause 1(2)' should be amended as suggested by the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and others, to match provision in the 2012 Regulations. 'Clause 1' prohibits circus operators from using wild animals in travelling circuses in England for performance or exhibition. This would leave travelling circuses able to keep wild animals and travel with them, without requiring them to perform or be exhibited.
The RSPCA suggests the courts should have a power to disqualify offenders from keeping wild animals. The Committee disagrees, believing the present fine is an appropriate penalty as the offence does not apply to welfare, and disqualification proceedings are already available under other legislation. Any ban would be desirable to apply to the whole of the UK and the Committee urges the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to reach a co-ordinated position with their counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before 2015.
|Format||Paperback||Published||09 Jul 2013|
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