The Fellowship of Life
a Christian-based vegetarian group founded in 1973

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Please Help Animals in Circuses!

An appeal from Lady Stratford
March 2008

You may be aware that my late husband, Tony Banks MP, abhorred any form of animal cruelty. This is a passion I shared - and continue to share - with Tony. As a supporter of CAPS, I know that I share this with you too.

I am a patron of CAPS for several reasons. One of these is that I believe none of us has the right to keep animals in captivity for our entertainment. A prime example of this is the use of performing animals in circuses, which continues to this day. Tigers, lions, horses, zebra, camels, dogs, reindeer, alligators and even an elephant, are among the animals currently used in circuses in the UK.

The Circus Working Group (CWG) report published by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in October 2007, claimed that evidence of animal suffering in circuses is “inconclusive”, despite considerable amounts of documentation submitted by animal protection groups. Click here to read CAPS' response to the report.

A new Early Day Motion (EDM 965) on Animal Welfare in Circuses has recently been put before Parliament by Mark Pritchard MP. Already, many members of parliament have signed this EDM, with one of the first being another CAPS patron, Mr Mike Hancock CBE. The EDM calls for the Government to maintain its commitment to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses and to restrict the use of domesticated animals through a strict licensing system. It is important that domestic animals do not get left out in this current decision; while we are unlikely to get a ban on domestic animal use at this time we need to restrict their use as much as possible as the Government is not expected to return to this issue for many years to come. CAPS will, of course, continue to campaign against the use of all animals in circuses.

I am calling upon you to help in three ways

By urging your MP to sign EDM 965 - here is a sample letter. If you do not know who your MP is, go to http://www.upmystreet.com/commons/l/ ( You can also send an e-mail direct to your MP from there). If they have already signed it, please thank them for doing so.
By writing to DEFRA Minister Hilary Benn, asking him to implement a ban, in keeping with EDM 965. (sample letter)
Please encourage your family and friends to do likewise! Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and I do hope that you can help us work towards a ban on keeping animals in circuses.

Yours faithfully
Sally Banks,
Lady Stratford

Feel free to download the two sample letters, although writing your own may have more impact! 

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