Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

UK Circus Animals Not Mistreated


Animal liberationists are ever about the task of impeding any and all uses of animals for any human purpose. One target here and abroad is entertainment, particularly circuses, based on the claim that circuses abuse their animals. This is a dubious assertion, given that healthy animals are needed for the circus to thrive. But be that as it may, in the UK, the charges have been proven specious. From the story in the Telegraph:
A ban on using wild animals in travelling circuses because of welfare concerns is not supported by scientific evidence, a Government report has declared. The chairman of the Circus Working Group reported his findings following proposals, outlined by the Government in March last year, to ban certain non-domesticated animals from travelling circuses under the Animal Welfare Act...

The new report concludes: "There appears to be little evidence to demonstrate that the welfare of animals kept in traveling circuses is any better or worse than that of animals kept in other captive environments." The panel members, who were nominated by animal welfare groups and industry representatives, said they found no evidence that regular transportation caused an adverse affect on animal welfare.

That won't settle the matter, of course. Animal liberationists believe that any human use of animals, is by definition, abuse. And they want to shut down all animal parks and zoos as well as circuses. But it is good that the government is now less likely to harass legitimate circuses that use animals to bring fun and joy to human children and those who are young at heart.


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