Seaford MP Norman Baker this week joined Animal Defenders International (ADI) to call for action on banning wild animals in circuses.
They delivered a petition signed by more than 20,000 which calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to take action before the General Election to ensure a ban, promised in 2012, is passed.
Conservationist Stanley Johnson, social justice campaigner Peter Tatchell and a host of cross-party MPs including Mr Baker made up the delegation to Downing Street.
Last April, the Prime Minister promised another ADI delegation headed by Tatchell and Johnson “We are going to do it” and has since committed to end what he calls an “outdated practice”.
Despite the promises, little progress has been made, prompting a bill from Jim Fitzpatrick MP to bring the Government’s own draft legislation forward. Fitzpatrick has described it as “a small measure which will make a big difference to the wild animals currently performing in circuses across Britain”. The bill, which enjoys cross-party support, has been repeatedly blocked by a Conservative MP.
Mr Baker said, “The House of Commons has made it very clear through a vote that it wants a swift end to the use, misuse and abuse of animals in circuses. The Government should honour that vote rather than deploying delaying tactics. A ban can be pushed through next month if they have the will to do it.”
ADI President Jan Creamer said, “If the Government fails to act on this issue it will have failed the animals and the public.”