Leeds MP's joy as Parliament finally outlaws circus animals after long campaign

Leeds North West MP Alex Sobel has been campaigning for two years to outlaw the use of wild animals in circuses
Leeds North West MP Alex Sobel has been campaigning for two years to outlaw the use of wild animals in circuses
0
Have your say

A Leeds MP is roaring with pride after a two-year campaign to outlaw circus animals was finally passed.

Alex Sobel joined celebrations in Parliament on Tuesday as the new legislation banning the use of wild animals in circuses was brought forward.

The Circus Mondao has raised criticism for using a zebra and camels in its shows

The Circus Mondao has raised criticism for using a zebra and camels in its shows

It comes after the Labour MP for Leeds North West described his disgust after finding out the Circus Mondao, which has previously been hosted in various locations across Leeds including Tingley and Horsforth, still uses wild animals in its shows.

A wild animal is defined as any creature not domesticated in Great Britain.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Sobel said: “I would like some reassurance from the Minister about a circus that operates in my constituency—Circus Mondao—which has a zebra and two camels.

"I have been campaigning for it to cease the use of these, and I ask that the Bill cover that so that I can happily go to Circus Mondao in the knowledge that, because of this Act, it is not using wild animals.”

Mr Sobel began campaigning against the practice in 2017 when the Circus Mondao pitched up at a site on Otley Old Road in Horsforth.

Concerns were raised at the time over the controversial circus using its three animals for entertainment, as well as the effects of air traffic noise from nearby Leeds Bradford Airport potentially aggravating their distress.

A spokeswoman for animal rights group PETA said: "We’re thrilled that the government has finally introduced the long-awaited bill to ban wild animals in circuses.

"It’s unthinkable that in 2019, animals continue to be caged, chained, beaten into submission, and deprived of all that’s natural and important to them. For them, the passage of this bill into law can’t come soon enough."