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Sunday, May 15, 2011

TORY ‘U-TURN’ ON CIRCUS ANIMALS



Number 10 forced Caroline Spellman to do a U-turn on banning circus animals, it is thought

May 15,2011

By Ted Jeory

DAVID CAMERON was last night accused of “losing touch” after the Government refused to ban wild animals being used in ­travelling circuses.Lib Dem MP Bob Russell said the Prime Minister was betraying “civilised society” after suspicions that Number 10 had forced Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman to do a U-turn on the issue.
Only last month, the Sunday Express was told by senior sources in the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs that Ms Spelman was “minded” to end the exploitation of wild animals for public ­entertainment.
She was said to have been ­persuaded amid the massive outcry that followed video footage showing circus elephant Annie being beaten by her keeper.
However last Friday, instead of a ban, the Government announced it would introduce a new licensing system for the 39 tigers, lions and other wild animals that are forced to travel thousands of miles a year around Britain in circus wagons.
In her statement, Ms Spelman said she believed “most people would prefer not to see wild ­animals performing in circuses” and it is suspected that Downing Street overruled her on the grounds that Whitehall should not be interfering.
Mr Russell, who has campaigned for a ban for 40 years, said last night: “I was hoping the Conservatives would do what Labour failed to do and ban these cruel acts. The Coalition government has made a huge error. If it’s the case that Number 10 has over-ruled Defra then this is not the way to conduct collective ­government.
David Cameron had a golden opportunity to show that this Government was opposed to forcing exotic creatures to ­perform stunts and tricks that are against their nature and ­completely inappropriate in a civilised society.
Read more: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/246729/Tory-U-turn-on-circus-animalsTory-U-turn-on-circus-animals#ixzz1MPxGveMp

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