Animal welfare well down government's list of priorities
Mary Creagh, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, responded to Defra's decision to proceed with a licensing scheme for wild animals in circuses on 1 March. The government says it wants to ban wild animals in circuses but has announced a consultation on what a licensing scheme should look like. It runs until 25 April.
Mary said: “Last year parliament voted unanimously for a ban on wild animals in circuses with the backing of 95% of the public. Defra Ministers showed how out of touch with the public they are and hid behind spurious threats of legal challenges in the EU as an excuse for doing nothing.
“Today, ministers announce a licensing regime until a ban comes in 2015, saying there is no room on the parliamentary timetable for new legislation. Yet only yesterday they introduced a water bill into the house which will be passed in 2 days. There is nothing to stop them doing the same thing for circus animals, but it’s clear that animal welfare is way down the list of this government’s priorities.”
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