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News from Mike Penning

ARTICLES / News from Mike Penning

Update from Parliament

From July 2019 Edition | Boxmoor Direct

Mike Penning

I was very happy to be able to take part in both the Report Stage and Third Reading debates on the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill last month. My eldest daughter was just 11 when she came home from school to say that they were going to a zoo and she didn’t want to see animals in cages. As a result, we never took the children to zoos or a circus that had wild animals.

We’ve all seen fly-on-the-wall documentaries and it is great that we are finally banning wild animals in travelling circuses in England.

This is the 21st century and it is right that we no longer have lions and other wild animals being forced to perform stunts and tricks.

However, circuses do still have some wild animals including reindeer, zebras and camels. This Bill means that circus operators in England will no longer be able to use any of these wild animals as part of a travelling circus.

I did raise some concerns in the debate. This is a fairly specialised area and I don’t think it is should necessarily come under local police forces alone. With some extra resources, the excellent National Wildlife Crime Unit could assist. We also need to consider what happens if wild animals are found – where they will be housed and looked after.

This is another positive measure by the Government to add to other recent legislation to protect animals – notably the ban on ivory sales and Finn’s law to protect service animals.

People can still enjoy a trip to the circus, but it is good to know that wild animals will no longer be a part of that experience.

The Government is committed to implementing this ban when the existing interim licensing regulations expire in January 2020. The Bill now goes to the House of Lords where I hope it will quickly pass and become law.


Address: Constituency Office, The Bury, Queensway, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP1 1HR
Web: www.penning4hemel.com
Email: mike.penning.mp@parliament.uk
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