Skip to main content

Circuses: Animal Welfare

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will introduce a ban on the use of all non-domesticated animals in circuses; and if he will make a statement. (296786)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses. (296207)

Wild animals used in travelling circuses are protected by the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which prevents unnecessary cruelty or suffering to any vertebrate animal. The Act makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met. This includes the need: for a suitable environment (place to live); for a suitable diet; to exhibit normal behaviour patterns; to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable); and to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.

A Feasibility Study is currently under way looking at the possibility of regulating wild animal acts in travelling circuses. The Feasibility Study is nearing completion and I intend to review the findings carefully.