Action Required to Ban Animal Circuses: Petition Update

Sheffield City Council currently allows animal circuses to perform in Sheffield. In 2017 they gave permission to Zippo’s Circus, a circus whose artistic director has a questionable background when it comes to animal abuse, to take over Endcliffe Park.

CALL TO ACTION! Our campaign to ban animal circuses in Sheffield has reached the next stage; on Wednesday 4th July, we will be presenting our petition to the 84 councillors of Sheffield City Council at a council meeting. To show them that the people of Sheffield want to ban all animal circuses in our great city, please email your local councillor to tell them of your support for the petition and the ban! We have prepared a draft email below that we would encourage you to use as a template, but please feel free to write your own or add to this draft. "Dear Councillor, I am writing to ask you to support the petition to Ban Animal Circuses in Sheffield at the Council meeting on 4th July. Myself, and hundreds of other residents of Sheffield believe that the use of animals in circuses is unethical, outdated and unnecessary. Many organisations are against the use of animals in circuses, including the RSPCA, who say: ““We don't believe animals should be subjected to the conditions of circus life. Regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance, loud noises and crowds of people are often unavoidable realities for the animals.” Additionally, research over many years by Animal Defenders International shows that behaviours displayed in animals in circuses shows that they are unable to cope with a circus environment and are suffering as a result. They also found that a majority of people (65%) believe that all animal circus acts should be banned, and that many local authorities (39%) across the UK have already taken the step to ban cruel animal circus acts from their areas. I am proud of the progressive, forward-thinking morals that the city of Sheffield embodies and believe that allowing unethical and outdated circus acts with animals, which unarguably cause suffering, is in direct contrast to everything our great city stands for. As an elected councillor, please listen to the wishes of those you represent and support the petition to Ban Animal Circuses in Sheffield. Yours Sincerely," A list of councillors can be found at the link below in the comments, their email addresses can be found by clicking on their picture. (1/2)

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Our petition to ban animal circuses in Sheffield calls on the council to revise their current pro-animals-for-entertainment position and refuse any circus that uses animals, wild or otherwise.

We have collected 201 signatures and are due to present the petition to the 84 councillors of Sheffield City Council at the council meeting on Wednesday 4th July. Before then, we need your help.

Show Your Support For a Ban on Animal Circus’ in Sheffield

To demonstrate that the people of Sheffield want to ban all animal circuses in our great city, we need you to email your local councillor to tell them of your support for the petition (whether or not you signed it) and the ban.

We have prepared a draft email below that we would encourage you to use as a template, but please feel free to write your own or add to this draft.

Dear Councillor,

I am writing to ask you to support the petition to Ban Animal Circuses in Sheffield at the Council meeting on 4th July. Myself, and hundreds of other residents of Sheffield believe that the use of animals in circuses is unethical, outdated and unnecessary.

Many organisations are against the use of animals in circuses, including the RSPCA, who say:

“We don’t believe animals should be subjected to the conditions of circus life. Regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance, loud noises and crowds of people are often unavoidable realities for the animals.”

Additionally, research over many years by Animal Defenders International shows that behaviours displayed in animals in circuses shows that they are unable to cope with a circus environment and are suffering as a result. They also found that a majority of people (65%) believe that all animal circus acts should be banned, and that many local authorities (39%) across the UK have already taken the step to ban cruel animal circus acts from their areas.

I am proud of the progressive, forward-thinking morals that the city of Sheffield embodies and believe that allowing unethical and outdated circus acts with animals, which unarguably cause suffering, is in direct contrast to everything our great city stands for.

As an elected councillor, please listen to the wishes of those you represent and support the petition to Ban Animal Circuses in Sheffield.

Yours Sincerely,”

Browse the list of councillors to find your local representative. Their email address can be found by clicking on their picture.

Please also email the Leader of the Council, Julie Dore (julie.dore@sheffield.gov.uk) and the Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Tourism, Mary Lea (mary.lea@sheffield.gov.uk), both of whom will be integral in the decision-making process regarding the petition.

Please take action now! We need your support.

Party Positions on Animal Circuses

Sheffield City Council is a Labour run council, made up of Councillors from the Labour Party, the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats, and UKIP. The national policies for all three of these parties include statements about animal circuses, which give us some hope that the council may take these to their logical conclusion and ban all animal circuses from Sheffield.

The official Labour Party position on animal rights is to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. We see no reason why this policy should not be extended to include domesticated animals like horses, dogs, cats, and budgies. No animal is suited to the conditions of a travelling circus, and no animal should be forced to perform tricks for our amusement.

Although it is not completely clear, the Green Party policy on animal rights seems to include all animals. It states that:

“In view of the fact that animal acts in circuses are cruel and degrading to performer and observer alike, we will immediately prohibit the import of, and sale from other sources of, all animals to circuses. We will immediately prohibit the use of animals in circuses and will encourage the re-homing of all existing circus animals to sanctuaries or other suitable establishments with relocation to the wild wherever possible.”

The Liberal Democrats’ animal welfare policy document, meanwhile, includes a pledge to “prohibit the use of all animals in circuses except domestic dogs and horses”. Again, we do not see any reason why dogs and horses should be subjected to the conditions of a travelling circus. These animals are not treated as companions and it is impossible for any travelling circus to meet their needs as individuals.

Why Ban Animal Circuses in Sheffield

Information on why we believe that action is required against animal circuses can be found on our active campaigns page.

The suffering that circus animals endure for the sake of entertainment does not reflect the attitudes of animal lovers across Sheffield or the UK. Please stand up against this abuse now by writing to your local councillor. You can also attend the council meeting (everyone is welcome in the public gallery) on Wednesday 4th July at 2pm.

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