PUBLISHED: 13:24 14 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:07 05 July 2010
I WAS concerned to read Rachel Moore's article "Save the last dance for four-legged friends" (March 14) which said that circus animals are outlawed in Britain.
I WAS concerned to read Rachel Moore's article “Save the last dance for four-legged friends” (March 14) which said that circus animals are outlawed in Britain.
Certainly many people are avoiding circuses with animal acts as awareness has grown that they are degrading to the animals, cruel training methods are sometimes used, there are periods of long confinement, and the transportation between sites causes further suffering.
However, they are not banned or illegal.
Tigers, lions, horses, zebra, camels, dogs, reindeer, alligators and an elephant are among the animals currently used in circuses in the UK.
Bobby Roberts Circus travels with Anne, a 55-year-old elephant, arthritic and having other health problems. She no longer performs but is carted round the country - a herd animal with no company of her own kind. This is all she has known.
Circus animals were excluded from the Animal Welfare Act 2006, though secondary legislation to protect them is being discussed - no hope, at this stage of a ban. However it would help if readers could ask their MP to sign EDM 965 on Animal Welfare in Circuses, calling for the government to maintain its commitment to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses and to restrict the use of domesticated animals through a strict licensing system.