Lions And Tigers to Be Banned from UK Circuses

circus lion being washed 1940

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The present government intends to ban wild animals from travelling circuses in England. Such animals include tigers, lions and zebras. The government is drafting a bill to be included in the Queen’s speech. The Queen’s speech sets out the government’s proposed legislative programme for the year ahead.

Circus tigers
Note the exotic tiger coats – white tiger and strawberry tabby – probably bred in an unscrupulous way. More exploitation. Photo: Laura Bittner on Flickr

This very welcome move by the government appears to have been at least partly motivated by the well-known abusive treatment of Britain’s last circus elephant, Anne, who was secretly filmed being kicked, hidden stabbed by her carer as she stood trained in a barn in 2011.

There are, in fact, 24 species of wild animal used in circuses in the UK at present.

Animal welfare groups, and people like myself and other PoC regulars would agree that:

“The complex physical, behavioural and psychological needs of wild animals cannot be met in a circus environment.”

Peter Jolly’s Circus is one of those license to use tigers and lions in its shows.

The director of the Captive Animals’ Protection Society, Liz Tyson says:

“Tigers, lions, elephants and camels simply cannot live a good life when their home is the back of a lorry and their sole purpose in life is to perform degrading tricks to circus audiences.”

The introduction of this bill in the next Parliament follows a 2011 rebellion which included Conservative MPs. A cross-party coalition of MPs defied the government backed a ban.

Should the bill become a working statute then the RSPCA and the Born Free Foundation will be involved in re-homing the freed circus animals.

I hope that all visitors to the site will agree that this is a wonderful step in the right direction. Some might argue that it has been a long time coming. Better late than never. The days of the circus animal are over and have been for sometime.

It is is patently cruel to use, indeed to commercialise, wild animals in this inhumane way for the entertainment of people.

It is perhaps interesting to note that while circus animals are being phased out in the UK, it appears to me that there has been a gradual increase in the commercialisation of the domestic cat in the USA.

We know that the domestic cat can be a vehicle to make money. The domestic cat is really a commercial asset to some people and organisations. The modern phenomenon of “celebrity cats” is what I’m talking about and personally I find it disturbing because celebrity cats are all about people; people who want to make money and people want to be entertained. The cat is a vehicle in that process. It almost mirrors what happens to circus animals when you think about it. We find it difficult to stop using animals for our own ends.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

26 thoughts on “Lions And Tigers to Be Banned from UK Circuses”

  1. Michael, who is credited w/the first quote? “The complex physical, behavioural and psychological needs of wild animals cannot be met in a circus environment.”

    1. I forget sorry. I am not actually sure that it is a direct quote from somebody. It is more a general quote from animal advocates. Sorry to be so vague about that. I thought it just summarised nicely what you and I would say. I could have made the quote myself.

      1. And yes, it does. That quote again, “The complex physical, behavioural and psychological needs of wild animals cannot be met in a circus environment.” It is summated so beautifully, because it is so true.

  2. Michael, why do you suppose the tiger on the far left is lifting her head to cry out? So many scenarios play out in my mind. I hate it. So appreciative for the British people, and for what they have done internationally, after having done so much in their own field.

    1. I don’t know Cal. We don’t know how much discomfort and stress circus animals go through. We can guess though. We know that cats are very good at hiding these things. Circus animals should be a thing of the past. Civilised society should move on because it is quite obviously incorrect and against animal welfare to use circus animals.

  3. I can’t bear to watch the video you uploaded, but I do certainly appreciate this article. It needs to be put out there, esp. by all of us here in the u.s.a.

    1. It is very good news though that the UK are deciding to ban circus animals. I am proud of that decision to be honest. Because UK circuses by world standards probably treat their animals quite well in general but we are still banning the keeping of animals by circuses. Compare that with many other countries especially those in Asia and you can see that we are well ahead of them. Many zoos in the Middle East and Asia are in a terrible condition with animals being mistreated.

  4. Thank Goodness for that so pleased to hear it. I just hope Worldwide this happens. They are not for ur amusement. 🙁

  5. Thank God I hope it gets passed and it has been far too long coming I hate when animals are used as a commodity, they are not for our amusement 🙁

  6. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    Yes it’s good news and I too hope it really does happen. There should be NO captive wild animals in circuses, no one should own one, nor breed from one.
    We can only keep on fighting until this all happens…..but Ruth …dream on while money is still most peoples God 🙁

      1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

        I hope and pray we get a Labour government next year, they are far from perfect but at least they care about animal issues. The Tories, LibDems and UKIP don’t and the lesser parties have no chance of winning.

  7. I hope and pray that this comes about, until it’s law signed sealed and delivered I won’t believe it, I don’t trust this government enough, but I so, so much want it to happen.

      1. No discussions that I know of.
        But, circuses and zoos are getting scarce.

        LOL! LOL! LOL!
        Wordpress reprimanded me a minute ago for posting too fast!
        Can I expect a spanking next time?

          1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

            Sometimes if Babz and I are both on our computers and happen to be commenting on PoC at the same time we get a notice to say ‘Slow Down’ and it won’t post our comments! It must be because we have the same IP address I suppose.
            Dee you must be typing as fast as TWO people lol lol

            1. Thanks for that Ruth, I had no idea that could happen. I am not sure that is the website responding. It may be something else like your broadband supplier (BT). Not sure.

              1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

                It doesn’t really matter, we only have to remember when we are both on PoC to copy any long comments we write in case it happens and we lose the lot and some very unladylike words can be heard then lol

        1. You’re funny. I love you! We only hope for the best here in the U.S., don’t we? I regret ever having taken my daughter and her friends to the circus when they were little, young’uns. We are all still scarred with images. Dee, hopefully you were wiser than me. I remember checking behind the elephant’s ears for scars and fresh wounds. We almost got escorted out.

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