Image via WikipediaDavid Konyot writes the inaugural post for this blog and expresses his dismay at the lack of democracy shown on 23rd June debate in the House of Commons. This was the third time the ban had been discussed in Westminster and despite the hugely one-sided affair, where misinformation and disinformation were thrown around with little care, this debate was the first that saw an honest defender of our position step forward...
One of the major problems is that our democratically elected MPs seem to forget that fact the minute they enter the House. In the debate over wild animals in circus recently, the lies, hypocrisy and discrimination exhibited in the chamber were quite staggering. A few of the members
present stated that Hungary and Ireland, among other countries, had banned wild animals from circus -WRONG. Another said that there was widespread cruelty in circus - WRONG - 4 prosecutions of circus trainers in over a century. Another stated that no European state had been taken to court over a ban -WRONG. The city of Luxembourg tried to impose a ban and Circus Krone from Germany challenged the decision and won. Luxembourg appealed and lost the appeal with part of the judgement reading "A ban would contravene the European community's guarantees of freedom of movement and provision of service". Another MP, Bob Russell, from Colchester, who was vitriolic in his argument for a ban, said he was proud that Colchester was among the first councils to ban wild animals from their land -WRONG. Councils cannot ban. That would involve a by-law, which cannot be imposed as there is no national law banning wild animals ,they can only implement a policy, it also means that they don't have to widely publicise it which is why many circus patrons don't even know if their local authority has such a policy.
Mr Russell incidentally has recently been invited to the Great British Circus which was in his constituency (on private land) to see the conditions in which the animals are housed and witness first hand a training session, he refused with some rather inflammatory language, surely as the representative for ALL his constituents it is his duty to avail himself of all the facts of a situation before pronouncing so vehemently. This is something neither he or many of the other MP's in the chamber at the time seem to have done.
There is compelling evidence to prove that the circus /travelling life is of no detriment to the animals and in some cases it is beneficial as it gives stimulation to their lives. Andrew Rosindell, MP for Watford, who was well informed , articulate , erudite and reasonable in his arguments was shouted down, insulted and vilified by the rest of the braying mob who were present and when he said that all the wild animals in the country were ninth and tenth generation born here was answered with the most crass and demeaning reply along the lines of "would you have given the same argument to third and fourth generation African slaves in America". I do not expect this sort of language in the highest house in our land. From our MPs I expect intellectual argument and intelligent debate with both sides fully informed and passionate , this is not what we got . It was a sad day for Democracy.
Your Guide to the Reality of Animal Circus
"The academic panel concluded that there appears to be little evidence to demonstrate that the welfare of animals kept in travelling circuses is any better or worse than that of animals kept in other captive environments" - Executive Summary of the DEFRA Circus Working Group 2007
Join us on Facebook The WELFARE of Circus animals.