Sunday 13 December 2009


Margaret Gosden's post for 'Motion Thursday' focused on the circus and a protest against the use of animals in circus acts. I blithely (and if I'm honest rather smugly) deplored the fact that some countries still allowed such things and added that they were 'a no-no' in UK. Margaret asked if lions were banned in acts and when I checked before responding I discovered I was WRONG! I was so convinced that they were outlawed that I didn't verify it before posting my comment. It seems they're a no-no only in my mind even though most people I know are of like opinion.

Between 150 and 200 animals are still 'entertaining' audiences in British circuses. Most of them are wild animals and include elephants, zebras, lions, tigers, camels, crocodiles, snakes and a kangaroo. These animals are protected by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 but there is no law preventing circuses using them in their acts.

This page from 2001 gives information that makes uncomfortable reading. There are 38 wild animals left in UK circuses but there are still domestic animals that are forced to lead unnatural lives and trained with harsh methods.

If you intend to visit a circus this year please go to one where the entertainers are there of their own volition and have a choice in the actions they perform. Be thrilled by the high wire artistes and laugh at the clowns (I don't like clowns, actually and I don't like slapstick humour.) Marvel at the skill of jugglers and tumblers but please don't support the exploitation of animals.

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