ON behalf of the animal welfare charity FOUR PAWS, I would like to express our huge disappointment and frustration following the decision of Conservative MP Christopher Chope (MP for Christchurch) to block the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill, which would ban the outdated and cruel use of wild animals such as lions, tigers, camels and in circuses in England.

Since the Government announced the Bill over two years ago, it has been blocked five times; despite assurances from the Prime Minister himself that action would be taken.

Earlier in the year, FOUR PAWS co-signed an open letter to the Prime Minister alongside ADI, Animal Aid, British Veterinary Association, RSPCA, CAPS, One Kind, PETA, and World Animal Protection, in support of the new bill.

However, this latest setback, due solely to the decision of Christopher Chope MP to block the bill, means that we are now no closer to seeing this bill introduced.

We feel it is important that Mr Chope’s constituents understand his role in blocking this important legislation.

Using wild animals in circuses to perform humiliating tricks and unnatural behaviour in front of crowds of people, subjecting them to brutal training methods, transporting them over long distances and keeping them confined in small spaces is totally out of keeping with the animals’ natural requirements.

There have been numerous undercover investigations and reports exposing the mistreatment of circus animals demonstrating that circuses that use wild animals for entertainment have no place in a modern, civilised society.

By blocking this Bill, Mr Chope is demonstrating the he is out of touch with the views of the majority of the public.

The Government itself states in its original bill that, “There is little or no educational, conservational, research or economic benefit derived from wild animals in travelling circuses that might justify their use and the loss of their ability to behave naturally as a wild animal.”

We ask constituents to write in to Mr Chope to express your views on this important topic before the election.

It is time that decisive action is taken and the use of wild animals in circuses is ended once and for all.

JULIE SANDERS, Country Manager, Four Paws UK