Call for tighter control on the welfare of circus animals

Government commissioned study group calls for better animal welfare legislation for circus animals

source: Veterinary Record vol 143 no 18, October 31 1998 p489

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, which includes representatives from circuses, animals welfare groups, and zoologists, has called for better animal welfare legislation to cover circus animals. There are particular problems regulating circuses, since they are mobile, and laws vary from place to place. Training varies in terms of quality and methods, and animal instructors do not have a formal training structure. Animals may suffer from stress during performances. Usage of wild animals may affect wild populations, and wild animals may have trouble adapting to captivity. Changes proposed by the group include the introduction of a licensing system for circuses.