In December 2017, Born Free issued a call to government to make a commitment to repeal legislation allowing circuses with wild animals to operate in England under licence, and commit to an outright ban.
In February 2018, it looked like our call had been heeded when it was confirmed that the licensing regime, which has been in place since 2013, would expire in January 2020, by which time the government wanted the ban to be in place.
The licensing regime was reviewed in early 2018 with the subsequent report published shortly after. The report made the recommendation that the licensing regime should be repealed and replaced with the outright ban initially promised in 2012.
On 1st May 2019, the UK government introduced a Bill to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in England by January 2020.
“After years of waiting for this issue to be resolved, Born Free is delighted that Defra Secretary Michael Gove will now bring this Bill forward,” said Dr Chris Draper, Born Free’s Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity. “The use of wild animals in travelling circuses is outdated and unpopular, and this legislation will bring England into line with a long and increasing list of countries which have banned this practice. Born Free and its supporters have campaigned for a long time for this outcome and we look forward to the swift progress of the Bill through Parliament."