In a stunning victory for animals, the British Parliament has voted to direct the government to ban wild animals in circuses. MPs across all party lines unanimously backed the directive, which, if followed, will end the use of lions, tigers, elephants, and other wild animals in circuses in England and Wales. More good news: Scotland isn't far behind in passing a similar resolution.
Despite overwhelming support from the public and the vast majority of Parliament, some in Prime Minister David Cameron's administration attempted to circumvent the ban by proposing regulations instead. The half-measure was met with unanimous opposition.
Animals used in circuses, most of whom are large and naturally active, are forced to spend most of their lives in cramped transport trailers and small cages. They are allowed out only for the short periods when they must perform confusing and often painful tricks. Circuses go to great lengths to hide the dark side of the big top—animals are torn from their families, are beaten into submission, and often suffer premature death.
The fight isn't over quite yet. Parliament's vote isn't binding (it's an order, but the government isn't legally obligated to follow it).
Please visit PETA U.K. to urge the prime minister to impose a complete and permanent ban on the use of animals in circuses.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor