According to the Government website, Environmental Secretary Michael Gove successfully announced the new bill on May 1st. In relation to the bill, Gove (famous for not being able to clap properly amongst other things) said:
"Travelling circuses are no place for wild animals in the 21st century and I am pleased that this legislation will put an end to this practice for good,"
"Today’s announcement follows other measures we have taken to strengthen our position as a world leader on animal protection. This includes our ban on ivory sales to protect elephants, and delivering Finn’s Law to strengthen the protection of service animals."
The ban is a strong political move as most of the British public are apparently strongly in favor of the banning of wild animals in circus shows, with polls showing that '94.5 percent' were for the move in a government consultation last year.
Frankly, I don't see how anyone could really be opposed to this idea, wild animals are not simply things for us to gawp at having been forced to perform grim spectacles, we're past this as a society surely?
According to the UK Government report, some of the wild animals being forced to perform in shows around the UK currently includes the likes of Reindeer, Zebra's and Camels. All of these are fantastic creatures who have much more importance than simply as throwaway entertainment pieces.
The spectacle of seeing animals like that living their lives freely and unimpeded by human interaction is surely a more wonderful spectacle?
The ban will take full effect in January 2020 and has been received unanimously well. The RSPCA Head of Public Affairs made the statement:
"We really welcome the Government introducing a Bill to ban the outdated practice of using wild animals in circuses We’ve campaigned against having wild animals in circuses for many years. They have complex needs that cannot be properly met in a circus environment. It’s high time keeping wild animals in circuses is consigned to the history books and we look forward to the day that it is banned for good in England."
The bill was also applauded by Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity at the Born Free Foundation, Dr Chris Draper:
"After years of waiting for this issue to be resolved, Born Free is delighted that Mr Gove will now bring this Bill forward. The use of wild animals in travelling circuses is outdated and unpopular, and this legislation will bring England into line with a long and increasing list of countries which have banned this practice. Born Free and its supporters have campaigned for a long time for this outcome and we look forward to the swift progress of the Bill through Parliament."
The idea that these circuses have any right to hold these wild animals captive is insane, and I'm made up to see steps being taken to protect these freakin' amazing creatures!