THANKS to Animal Defenders International’s (ADI) shocking exposé of the treatment of the three elephants with the Great British Circus, reported by the Clacton and Frinton Gazette on August 19, 2009, the UK government has launched a three-month public consultation concerning the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.

This is likely to become the most important consultation of the decade, affecting the future of how animals in the circus industry are treated for years to come. A ban on the use of wild animals is essential to ensure they no longer suffer in travelling circuses.

ADI has campaigned against the use of animals in circuses for over a decade, compiling a wealth of evidence secured by undercover investigations in the UK. Its findings reveal that given the circumstance of constant travel and the temporary nature of a circus, even with the best will in the world, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. Welfare is always compromised.

These arguments were taken into account by Tendring Councillor Lawrie Payne who tabled a motion to ban animal circuses last November. The council approved a policy that is there is reasonable doubt that the animals’ basic needs will not be met, no circus or travelling show using animals will be allowed on council owned land.

We urge all Essex residents to please participate in the consultation. We must send the strongest message possible that the public want a ban before the deadline of March 15. Simply follow the link on the home page of the ADI website and complete the online questionnaire. It will take just a few minutes and ADI has compiled an answer guide which will help you to complete it.

If you have trouble accessing the internet, please call our consultation hotline on 02076303340 and we will send a consultation pack. PLease spread the word far and wide and encourage friends, family and colleagues to participate.

Lisa Mitchinson.

Supporter Relations Director.