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Animal Welfare
Licensing regime to govern wild animal welfare in circuses

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A NEW licensing regime is to be introduced in England to govern the welfare of performing wild animals in circuses.

Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State at Defra, announced on May 13 that the new licensing system will be brought in under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It will require any circuses that wish to include wild animals in their performances to demonstrate that they meet high welfare standards for each animal before a licence could be granted to keep those animals.

Defra consulted on various options for safeguarding the welfare of wild animals in travelling circuses in 2010, including the option of banning their use. More than 90 per cent of respondents supported a ban, and the …

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