ANIMAL Defenders International (ADI) is calling on Wycombe councillors to listen to public opinion when voting on whether to overturn a long-established ban on animal circuses in the district this week.

Two thirds of the British public want a ban on all animal circus acts.

It is extraordinary that while worldwide awareness of animal suffering in circuses has never been greater and an increasing number of countries like Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru have legislation being discussed in their parliaments to ban animals in circuses, an English council could suddenly take the retrograde step of overturning a 17 year old ban.

Animals forced to perform in circuses cannot display natural behaviours.

ADI has investigated the use of animals in circuses in the UK and worldwide, and our film footage and scientific reports reveal that animal welfare is inevitably compromised by the travelling and temporary nature of the circus.

Scientific studies of the effects on animals in captivity and transport in a range of industries have provided evidence of suffering and compromised welfare.

The circumstances that cause suffering in other industries are present in circuses.

While we wait for the UK Government to enact a ban on animals in circuses it is down to each local authority to act.

I urge Wycombe councillors to keep the ban in place.

Alexandra Cardenas,Animals in Entertainment Campaign, Animal Defenders International, Millbank Tower, London.

* Editor’s note: Councillors were due to decide on this issue last night as we went to press. For a report of the decision, go to or see next week’s paper.