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.

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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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