21 Jun 2011

Green Party argues MPs must act on cruelty

Greens call on MPs to listen to constituents' views on wild animal ban

The Green Party has called on MPs to listen to the voices of their
constituents this Thursday, when they have an opportunity to vote on a ban
on the use of wild animals in circuses and make the coalition act on this
issue. Nearly 3 out of 4 British citizens favour a ban.

As MPs prepare to vote, ministers have tabled a counter-motion, which means
MPs may only be able to vote for or against the Government motion, and not
with the backbench call for a ban.

Caroline Allen, Green Party Spokesperson on Animals said:

"These majestic animals do not belong on the road, living in inadequate
enclosures, suffering from inappropriate, sometimes cruel, training
techniques and performing routines that demean them and their audience."

The government claimed that a ban would risk a legal challenge, but Greens
argue that this is little more than an excuse, with no evidence forthcoming
to back up the position. During a parliamentary

debate on 8th June, Caroline Lucas MP highlighted that the government was
given similar legal advice on banning the import of cat, dog and seal fur,
yet when other governments challenged similar legal advice they found that
they could implement bans.

Caroline Allen continued:

"This is once again a case where legal advice should be challenged, ensuring
that we ban this cruel practice once and for all. The government's proposal
to license and regulate instead of banning wild animals in circuses is
clearly unworkable, given the transitory nature of circuses.

"Unfortunately, this decision is not out of step with the government line on
animal welfare thus far. With question marks still remaining over the
government's position on the badger cull and its stated intention to call a
vote on hunting with hounds, this is a worrying time for all of those who
care about animal welfare."

Published and promoted by Spencer Fitz-Gibbon for the Green Party of England & Wales, both at Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.

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