Defra ministers misled parliament over failure to ban wild animals in circuses
Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh was granted an urgent question in the House of Commons on 19th May after it emerged that Defra ministers had misled Parliament over its failure to ban wild animals in circuses.
In a hastily released written statement on the morning of 19th May Caroline Spelman admitted that her claim that the government could not introduce a ban due to a current court case in Austria was not correct.
The Austrian government have confirmed that there is no ongoing court case. The Minister with responsibility for animal welfare, Jim Paice, was forced to come to the Commons to explain why Defra ministers had misled the House.
Mary said “Defra Ministers used a non-existent Austrian court case as political cover for their failure to ban wild animals in circuses. They misled Parliament and have failed to apologise for misleading the British public who want this ban. Today’s performance in Parliament from the hapless Jim Paice just confirms what the forests fiasco showed –that Ministers are out of touch and Defra is out of control.”
Watch the urgent question here: news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9490000/9490875.stm
Defra has been roundly criticised by MPs, animal rights groups, the British Veterinary Association and the media. www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13454403