Comment on Wild Animals In Circuses by Chris Barltrop.

Mr Corti is quite right; the DEFRA ‘survey’ was ‘flawed’, a set-up to justify the previous government’s wish to ban the use of animals in circuses.

Each time there is an investigation into circuses by neutral specialist scientists, it finds that circuses are perfectly capable of looking after their animals as they should be looked after.

Because this positive evidence defeats the ‘abuse’ arguments of animal activists, the so-called ‘animal welfare’ organisations (which are rather in many cases vehicles for political change) fund and publish ‘studies’ whose sources are highly selective, and whose conclusions are therefore false. By doing so, they admit that their claims are inherently unjustified.

Having a dislike of the idea of animals in captivity, an opinion which individuals may perfectly validly hold, does not justify campaigns of falsification which seek to mislead the general public into sympathetic agreement.

Support of such campaigns, and of the organisations which grow rich on the back of them, demonstrates the negativism and nannying which led to Labour’s recent rejection by the electorate.

Traditional circuses are acknowledged as being of cultural importance; rigorous circus-specific regulation, monitored by a neutral body, would protect the animals and also the circuses. Such legislation would demonstrate positive and progressive thinking — a way forward, rather then the retrogressive and repressive impetus expressed in Mr Fitzpatrick’s EDM.