Along with the majority of Christchurch Residents,I believe that the care and Welfare of animals is a very important issue. the use of wild animals in circuses is an outdated and cruel practice. Wild life parks and modern zoos are equipped The highest possible standards of animal welfare, and perform vital conservation. Animails are nowadays housed In large enclosures which are taylored to replicate their natural enviroment as much as possible. they are no longer considered as simply something to be imprisoned in small cages and exploited for financial gain. Travelling circuses cannot possibly provide this level of care and enrichment. Animals are housed in small mobile cages and displayed for “entertainment” in a setting as far removed from the wild as can be. worse still they may be made to perform in a circus ring, a totally unatural and possibly even frightning environment. This is outdated, cruel and not something the public in this day and age expect to happen. in this modern world, children (and Adults) can learn about animals via some of the excellent TV programes, such as those produced by David Attenborough, these show the natural world in its spectacular glory and are truly of great educational value.
I dont think people of christchurch feel circuses are the correct place for wild animals, nor do I. That is why two months ago Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick, Introduced a bill to parliament to end this practice. Last Friday Christchurch MP Christopher Chope, despite strong cross party support, voted against the bill.
Although he stated to the Echo, That he had no strong views on the matter, He still voted against it, supposedly on a matter of order.I fail to see how anyone can believe it is not right to end this outdated practice, It simply does not belong in the modern world, not in a civilised country where the majority of voters care passionately about the ethical treatment of animals.
I would have voted in favour of Jim Fitzpatricks bill and Im sure the voters of Christchurch would have supported me in this.
I am sad that Christopher Chope could not support Jims bill, Just about any child in any Christchurch school, could tell you this is the wrong way to treat animals, as could their parents.
Cicuses full of wild animals in gages belong in only one place,our history books. A modern circus does not need them, nowadays most are full of vibrant acts, and highly talented performers, from around the world. they are a place to experience acts celebrating world culture and the performing arts. entertainers, clowns magicians,dancers, musicians, Gymnasts,Trapeze artists,and high wire performers. All are skilled people who love to entertain us and are a joy to see, representing good clean fun and harmless entertainment. Acts using domestic animals such as horses are a different issue these enjoy a high standard of care and receive plenty of exercise and human contact which is perfectly natural to them, they are not confined to cages and providing the UKs strict animal welfare is met are a different thing entirely. Wild animals such a Elephants are sentient creatures with complex social needs. They do not belong in such enviroments, Nor do big Cats. Only a modern Zoo or Wildlife park is able to provide the care and enrichment to make the live of such animals in captivity, decent proper and bearable for them.They are also able to provide 24hr veterinary care from experts,and a balanced and nutritious diet. circuses cannot possibly do this and should no longer be able to keep such animals in captivity.
Most of you believe its wrong, I believe its wrong, which is why Im calling alongside you, the voters of Christchurch for Mr Chope to do the decent thing, and alongside MPs of all parties, to vote in favour of this bill at its next reading on the 21st november.
Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for Christchurch