The Circus Debate

Now, I think there are many instances where you might want to accuse me of ignorance on this post.  The first is that, until I saw the news of a vote for the ban a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know we still had animals in circuses in the UK.  Call me ignorant, but I have never been to a circus (and never really felt any kind of inclination to do – I think this has something to do with Walt Disney’s Dumbo) so I had assumed that we lived in a civilised nation who had banned things like that aeons ago.  Evidently, I was more than slightly wrong.

So, I signed the petition on the Independent, and I wrote a personalised email to my MP (Oliver Letwin – who is also on the cabinet don’t y’ know) saying I hoped he would see the sense in stopping this cruel practise – and that I thought we had long since moved past the point where we thought keeping animals in cages, and using them for our own amusement, was in any way acceptable.  I have yet to get a reply, and to be honest, on this matter, I don’t really expect one.

The news on Friday morning was that MPs had voted AGAINST the government on this issue and had supported a ban, and that, initially, the Tories had ordered a three line whip against the vote – instructing all their MPs not to vote in favour of the ban.  Conservative MP Mark Pritchard (who brought the ban) spoke up for his cause – and told the house that he had been tempted, by number 10, with both carrot and stick, to drop the bill.  ‘I have a backbone’ he argued, as he stood up for his morals.  And good on him too, because although the government are not now bound to this ban, it could certainly cause them a bit of trouble if they didn’t.

Again, call me ignorant, but I was surprised by almost every point in these proceedings – from finding out we still had animals in circuses in the first place, to the government trying to make the ban go away.  But I am heartened by the number of people who tried to support the ban in some way (one website claimed this vote had supported the views of 94% of the MPs constituents, where they got this figure from God only knows – but its a good one) and I think this only goes to back my initial feelings on the matter – that we do live in a country where you would expect practices like this to be illegal.  Sadly though, expectation has yet to become law.


About EcoTheme

Welcome to EcoTheme. I’m from the the county of Dorset in the South West of England. Having studied environmental ethics and written a Masters dissertation on the ethics of sustainable living I now work with Campaign against Climate Change and Greenpeace. I started EcoTheme to present discussion and views on things going on in the environmental world. It should become clear through my posts that I believe our environmental problems to be the most pressing matters of the day – not simply because I place value in our natural world but also because it is the platform on which all life depends.
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One Response to The Circus Debate

  1. Pingback: Circus Ban Tricks | EcoTheme

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