Review of animal welfare charter blocked despite huge public petition to end use of animals in circuses

Labour council leadership fails to back Green call for a review of animal welfare charter

Opposition to a Green request for a review of the council’s animal welfare charter met with anger from the public gallery at a meeting of Full Council today (31st January).

A petition signed by over 5,000 people calling for an end to the use of performing animals in circuses was heard by all Councillors, with the Greens putting forward proposals seeking to strengthen the petition through a review of the council’s animal welfare charter.

Pointing to a previous petition on the same subject heard by Councillors in 2017, Greens called on all Councillors to heed the request of residents and recognise the strength of feeling about the issue.

However the vote on the Green amendment was met with shock and anger in the public gallery after the Labour leadership failed to back the proposals.

Councillor Mac Cafferty, who proposed the amendment, said:

“Greens feel we must take up what campaigners are saying and so brought forward an amendment to provide a steer to the council on this issue.

“Legislation states that land used by councils has to be for ‘the benefit and improvement’ of the council. We need to look at what benefit a ban would confer on our city, and to us that is clear: a more humane approach to the other animals that share our planet.

“But this isn’t only about saying no to the worst practices – it’s also about being more forward thinking. We should use up to date practices and looking at technology too. We can embrace compassion for the other sentient beings on our planet and still say that our children can seek wonder in the world and have fun. We share the public shock and anger that Councillors – and especially the Labour leadership of the Council – cannot come with us on this vital issue.”


[1] Green amendment to animals in circuses petition (Jan 31st) available here:$$Supp30936dDocPackPublic.pdf

[2] A previous amendment to a 2017 petition on banning animals in circuses was put forward by the Greens was voted down at a meeting of Tourism, Development and Culture on 21st September 2017


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