On 16 April Defra published draft legislation aimed at banning the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in England.
The draft Bill makes it an offence for any circus operator to use a wild animal in performance or exhibition in a travelling circus in England. The Government proposes to give circus operators until 1 December 2015 to remove any wild animals from their circus before the offence comes into force. This grace period is to allow operators of travelling circuses time to adapt their businesses and organise suitable care arrangements.
Wild animals, for the purposes of the draft Bill, are defined as any animal belonging to a kind that is not normally domesticated in Great Britain.
This inquiry will scrutinise the measures set out in the draft Bill to determine whether the Bill will be effective in achieving the aim of banning the use of wild animals in circuses.