Press release

Circus wild animal ban moves a step closer

A ban on using wild animals in travelling circuses in England is now a significant step closer after plans to change the law were published today.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The draft Wild Animals in Circuses Bill was introduced in Parliament today. Under the proposals all travelling circuses in England must stop using wild animal acts by December 2015.

Environment Minister Lord de Mauley said:

This is a big step towards making it illegal to use wild animals in circus performances. Until the ban comes into force, travelling circuses owners must meet strict licensing conditions to ensure high welfare conditions for wild animals.

Since the licensing scheme was introduced on 20 January 2013, the number of circuses using wild animals in England has reduced. Two now operate with a licence and one has removed all wild animals from its circus performances.

The draft Wild Animals in Circuses Bill is available.

Published 16 April 2013