Skip to Main Content

Victory! Britain Votes to Ban Animal Circuses

Written by PETA | June 24, 2011

In a stunning victory for animals, the British Parliament has voted to direct the government to ban wild animals in circuses. MPs across all party lines unanimously backed the directive, which, if followed, will end the use of lions, tigers, elephants, and other wild animals in circuses in England and Wales. More good news: Scotland isn’t far behind in passing a similar resolution.

Despite overwhelming support from the public and the vast majority of Parliament, some in Prime Minister David Cameron’s administration attempted to circumvent the ban by proposing regulations instead. The half-measure was met with unanimous opposition.

Animals used in circuses are torn from their families, beaten into submission, and forced to spend most of their lives in cramped transport trailers and small cages.

kowitz/cc by 2.0

The fight isn’t over quite yet. Parliament’s vote isn’t binding (it’s an order, but the government isn’t legally obligated to follow it).

Please visit PETA U.K. to urge the prime minister to impose a complete and permanent ban on the use of animals in circuses.

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Commenting is closed.
  • AngelaB says:

    @Frank – I guess I’m confused by your comments? Any living, breathing creature – man or animal – will adapt to any environment they’re placed or forced in to survive – otherwise they’d die. It doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable. Animals are here on this planet as we are, so What makes humans superior to them? I think there’s more to their intelligence than man is aware of; they live and survive in their environment as man does in his. We don’t need to depend on them for food, nor should we have ever domesticated them in the first place – that was cruelest abuse of all! It’s time that we respectfully leave wild animals alone and let them be to peacefully live out their lives – man has done enough carnage! Now if only the greedy materialistic corporate-ridden USA can follow suit & pass the same laws… wishful thinking!

  • victory? or defeat? says:

    I agree with nightly except i don’t think PETA are morons. Not all circuses are bad don’t outlaw all of them only the abusive ones. I don’t know if this is actually a victory. We are probably just leaving these animals without any homes to go to. I agree abusive circuses should be shut down. But not all are bad some just wanna help.

  • Lauren says:

    Well done Britain! Now come on America!

  • Ozzie says:

    PETA – please come to Australia and do the same here.

  • Gabriel C. says:

    Is the US “Man enough” to second this? I sure hope so!


    @Jessica Smith. Ok what’s going to happen to the animals? I really cannot believe your comment that you think the animals are better off in the circus because they had a home. Do you honestly believe that Peta hasn’t found a good and caring sanctuary where they can run and interact with their own kind, and never perform unnatural tricks again. Their ‘home’ consists of bare cages where they pace back and forth, a sign that they are going mad. This is where they are held until it’s time to perform the tricks that they were taught, by being beaten into submission. No, far better that they live out the rest of their lives in peace in more natural surroundings. Also, I’d like to know what ulterior motive Prime Minister David Cameron has, to try and turn around the proposed ban and bring in regulations instead. Thank God the vast majority of MP’s opposed him. It’s not often that I praise British MP’s, but credit where credit’s due.

  • pj56 says:

    Finally! I will continue to sign the petitions as they come through until it stops.

  • Nightly says:

    Not all animal circuses are cruel! Most aren’t and are intent on saving the animals! By doing this your just leaving animals shelterless. PETA IS SUCH MORONS.

  • jaki lucas says:

    i am shocked i thought the ban on animals in the circus already excisted this is cruel what century do we live in?

  • Franky says:

    Hi, can I ask you guys a question? Do you really believe that animals have the same cognitive responses as humans? In other words, can they differentiate distinction, instinction, and cognition? I’m sure you heard about Classical Conditioning, right? Is a theory by Pavlov who experimented on dogs(which BTW, I’m an undergraduate in Psyche). Do you know what he found? For starters, a lot of things but one thing is clear: even dogs respond to behavioral responses–even if they are different than what he/she thinks wants. Is the equivalent of a man deciphering a soda from hot weather to cold or whatever. Or a woman deciphering make-up to dates or night-outs. The stimuli makes us respond the same, however, our reasons dictate to us why: hungry or thirsty(for the man); appeal and attractive(for the woman). With animals, is very complicated because they have different senses of communications. We know behaviorally, they are dictated and stimuli is great but we don’t know why. A tiger may roam the forrest and have its territory, but it has a protectionist take. Wolves hunt in groups– to increase strength and support against bigger foes or enemies–to eat. PS: I respect your care for animals and no one can dispute the physical(and verbal) abuse they can take but the truth is that they may be hardwired to adapt to it. They are adapted and have grown to accept that behavior. Biologically, their bodies are different, but behaviorally, they adapt to what’s given to them. If you think animals are slaves, trust me, revenge is not a word in their dictionary. Thank God for America. God bless. And good luck.

  • Robin Seagrave says:

    Thank you, Britain! Please continue the ban forever! Now the US and all other countries need to follow your example! Let’s end the cruelty.

  • Lesa says:

    At last, and none too soon. Congrats PETA!

  • Krysten says:

    I wish Canada would follow this! When it comes to animal rights, Canada is in the dark ages… What a victory for the animals of England and Wales!

  • Mary DeMarchi says:

    Ban all animal circuses….you could be the one mistreated & beaten in a circus some day….

  • annie says:

    No more suffering and pain for animals at the hands of sadistic,cruel so-called trainers. We do not wanted to be entertained by wonderful animals that have be beaten.

  • Alesia Gilliland says:

    Way to go British Parliament!! Thank you! Now if the USA would do the same!!!

  • melissa pollard says:

    Now let’s bring this to the usa and all other countries

  • melissa pollard says:

    Now let’s bring this to the usa and all other countries

  • Mary Elaine says:

    Dear Sirs, you did an amazing job!… Please make it permanent… No living creature deserves such a sad and miserable life… Please make it stop forever…

  • sonia goupil says:

    One more victory!

  • shelia dewolf says:

    please for the Love of God stop this please.

  • Rat King says:

    This is a great victory, indeed – but now they need to close the slaughterhouses worldwide, if not it doesn’t make sence! Thank you Peta, for your good fight!

  • Jessica Smith says:

    Okay whats going to happen to the animals? The owners will have no use for them. It’s better that they were in the circus where they had a home. Now their future is unknown.

  • anne hoesch says:

    absolutely brilliant!!! its disgusting to abuse wild animals in this way, they are not ours to do with whatever we want, they have rights and should be left alone to live a natural life, this is a wonderful victory for peta and im especially proud that its happening in britain!!!

  • Lara says:

    Thanks be to God!!! And THANK YOU, PETA, for working so hard for this milestone.

  • Heidi Andrews says:

    Let’s do it right, once and for all!!!!

  • Rebecca Haley says:

    Ban wild animals in circuses COMPLETELY!

  • Dawn Simmons says:

    Please impose a complete and permanent ban on the use of “all” animals in the circus. No animal should be treated the way they are treated in the circus. They are ripped away from their families and beaten into submission and forced to live in slavery for years. What a miserable life. Thanks, Dawn Simmons

  • Adriana padilla says:

    Please do it forever

  • Carolyn Crawford says:

    YAY Britain!!!! Now, let’s see the USA do the same thing!!!

  • julia mogensen says:


  • carrie park says:

    Please ban this!

  • poussier eric says:

    Animals are too proud to be humiliate in circuses Les animaux sont trop dignes pour être humiliés dans les cirques

  • alan says:

    Please stop the cruel treatment of and animals in this day and age it should have been stopped before now!!!!!!

  • AmandaPanda says:

    Very exciting. A very important step in the direction of banning animals from circuses world wide.

  • keith says:

    Yes a great result : but remember Cameron the PM of the UK., tried to strong arm one of his MPs’ Mark Pritchard from bringing this motion before the House of Commons ..the name is David Cameron.. remember him folks for being anti! to all sentient creatures and how they are Abused.

  • Aneliese says:

    This is huge!!!!!!