Don Foster MP


Don Foster calls for UK ban on wild animals in circuses

June 6, 2023 by admin in News

Don Foster, MP for Bath, has today pledged his continued support for a complete ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. This follows the Government’s decision to reject widespread calls for a ban in favour of a new licensing system.

Don Foster has been a long-term advocate of public demands for a ban, deeming the use of wild animals in circuses to be unacceptable. Don submitted a petition to the Government earlier this year on behalf of Bath residents, who expressed their desire for the practice to be stopped. He has now contacted the Secretary of State urging the Government to reconsider its recent decision to refuse the ban.

Don Foster commented: “The use of wild animals in circuses is now an out-dated practice and I am amazed that we have not introduced a complete ban.”

He continued, “our failure to introduce a ban, as many other countries have already done, undermines our reputation on animal welfare. Although this country has seen a decline in the number of wild animals in circuses, three in the UK still use them. It is time there were none.


Notes to editors:

  1. Don signed EDM 403 in 2010 which recognises that: the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs public consultation on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses shows that 94.5 per cent. of respondents support a ban as the best option to protect the welfare of circus animals; further notes that the new Government has been unclear on whether it will take action; believes that treating wild animals as circus tricks has no place in civilised society; underlines that violence against animals continues to occur routinely in circuses as revealed in an investigation into the Great British Circus in 2009; recognises that the only thing stopping this ban from coming into place is a decision by Ministers; and urges the Government to use its powers under section 12 of the Animal Welfare Act to make a regulation banning the use of all wild animals in circuses.