Published: June 25, 2011
Burnham-On-Sea's MP backs ban on wild animals at circuses

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week given her backing to calls for a ban on the use of wild animals at circuses.

Tessa Munt supported a motion in the House of Commons calling for the Government to use its powers under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to ban the use of all wild animals in circuses from 1 July 2012.

During the debate, she said: "Nothing short of a ban seems to be the answer to making this absolutely clear."

"My constituent, Gerry Cottle, ran away at the age of 15 to join the circus, and very successful he has been. I spoke to him yesterday. He said that the circus has moved on and times have changed, and that public opinion was against 'the dinosaurs' who use wild animals in circuses. We do not need them. He runs a successful circus without animals, creating good old-fashioned theatre and entertainment."

"There is no way that any circus owner could say that banning animals from circuses was a human rights issue because it caused loss of livelihood. Many circuses operate without animals, which is a testament to progress. I support the motion and I trust that the Minister will hear the clamour for a ban both in this place and outside."

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