photo courtesy of Animal Defenders International

In May we ran a couple of posts on how Britons overwhelmingly support a ban on circus animals, yet the UK’s Conservative-led government was against any such ban.

The Tory-Lib Dem coalition government, led by Prime Minister David Cameron (an avid hunter) instead proposed a licensing scheme for circuses.

However, members of British parliament, including key Conservatives, have stood up to pressure from the Prime Minister and voted to ban wild animals in UK circuses.

Though the motion voted on does not in itself enact a ban, but rather directs the government to do so, it is being hailed as a victory and a firm show of public and parliamentary support for the ban, which is expected to follow.

Well I have a message for the whips and for the Prime Minister of our country – and I didn’t pick a fight with the Prime Minister – I may just be a little council house lad from a very poor background but that background gave me a backbone. It gives me a thick skin and I’m not going to be cowed by the whips of the Prime Minister on an issue I feel passionately about and have conviction about.

–Mark Pritchard, MP

Way to break ranks, Mr. Pritchard!

For more on the story, including video of an impassioned speech by Conservative MP Mark Pritchard, read the following article in the Independent, the UK newspaper that has been instrumental in bolstering the campaign for banning circus animals:

Victory in the campaign to ban circus animals

Additional resources:

About The Author: Graham Land

Greenfudge editor and London-based writer Graham Land grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, where he was part of the local hardcore punk scene, playing in several bands. Through this musical movement he became involved in grass roots interests such as anti-racist activism, animal rights and Ecology. In 2000 he relocated to Europe, eventually earning an MA from Malmö University in Sweden. He has also lived in Japan, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.


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