Reading Time: 2 minutes The public supports a ban
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has recently pledged to introduce a raft of legislation aimed at improving animal welfare in England.

So far the MP has promised CCTV is slaughterhouses, as well as longer sentences for those convicted of animal abuse.

Now Gove has said he wants to reintroduce a draft bill which would ban circuses from using wild animals if it is passed into law.


Animal welfarists have long campaigned to legislation put in place.

According to PETA Director Elisa Allen: “A circus environment can’t possibly meet the complex needs [of wild animals]. 

“These animals are understandably frustrated, stressed and depressed from a lifetime of being denied the opportunity to do anything that’s natural and important to them, kept caged in trailers that are hauled around the country, and forced to perform confusing tricks under the big top out of some Victorian-era sense of amusement.

“The Government in Westminster, which, despite years of promising to bring in a ban, continues to sit back and do nothing as England falls further and further behind the growing number of countries putting a stop to these cruel institutions.”


Several attempts have been made to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in England.

The Government published proposals to do so as far back as 2013, but while the plans were popular with the public, the Labour party and PM David Cameron, a small group of Conservative backbenchers repeated blocked the proposals.

Until Gove made his recent announcement, it seemed plans had been shelved.


But now the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [DEFRA] has told the Daily Mail: “The Government wants to see an end to the use of wild animals in travelling circuses and will legislate for a ban as soon as parliamentary time allows.”

According to a Government consultation, a massive 94.5 percent of the public are in favor of banning wild animals in circuses. 

If the draft bill comes into effect, England will follow Scotland – which recently passed its own act.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.