Parliament has passed a bill banning wild animals in traveling circuses in England.
The Wild Animals in Circuses (No. 2) Bill passed its third and final reading (24 July) in the House of Lords, after more than 20 years of campaigning, and a 13-year legislative process.
The move has been welcomed by animal welfare organizations including the RSCPA, as well as vegan groups including PETA. Similar legislation has already passed in Scotland and is planned for Wales - meaning the popular UK-wide ban is within reach.
'No place for wild animals'
"Traveling circuses are no place for wild animals in the 21st century and I am pleased that this legislation will put an end to this practice for good," Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, said about the bill.
"I am pleased...legislation will deliver on the ban that many welfare charities and parliamentarians have been calling for," added Animal Welfare Minister David Rutley.
"The general public can still enjoy a trip to the circus, but it is good to know that wild animals will no longer be a part of that experience."
"After years of countless protests, ad campaigns, and pressure from celebrities and the public, PETA is thrilled that Parliament has finally banned the use of wild animals in circuses," PETA Director of International Programs, Mimi Bekhechi, told Plant Based News.
"We hope this news encourages the National Assembly for Wales to expedite its own bill so that the whole of Great Britain can become an animal circus–free zone.
"It's unthinkable in this day and age that animals continue to be held in captivity, deprived of all that's natural and important to them, and forced to perform tricks for human amusement – shamefully, something TUI still profits from through sale of tickets to SeaWorld.
"Last week, Virgin Holidays joined Thomas Cook and other travel giants in cutting ties with these circus-style marine abusement parks, and we urge all kind people to contact TUI today and demand it do the same."