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Animals: Circuses

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on the importation of elephants to perform in circuses; and whether his Department issues guidance on such imports. (267637)

DEFRA has received no representations specifically on that issue.

The UK is a signatory party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) which aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of non-domesticated animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The management authority of any state may waive the normal requirements which apply to the movement of a specimen where that specimen forms part of a travelling circus and provided certain conditions are fulfilled. These conditions include the requirement that the management authority is satisfied that any living specimen will be so transported and cared for as to minimise the risk of injury, damage to health or cruel treatment.