LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Ban on wild animals in the circus draws closer as Queen announces new Government bill

Under threat
One of just three tigers left in the British circus
See him at Peter Jolly's Circus

The proposed ban on wild animals in British circuses has moved another step closer with the Government announcing its Wild Animals in Circuses Bill will be included amongst other forthcoming legislation in the Queen's Speech to Parliament on Wednesday June 4.

The ban was proposed by Animal Welfare Minister Lord Taylor in 2012 and scheduled to come into force in December next year.

It will still have to be voted through Parliament and the House of Lords, of course, which means a degree of uncertainty remains. If you want to save a British tradition that has existed since the birth of the circus in 1768, you could ask your MP to vote against the ban.

Britain's last lion trainer
Thomas Chipperfield

- Big story on him coming soon
In the meantime, take perhaps your last chance to see Britain's last circus lions and tigers at Peter Jolly's Circus and the camels and zebras at Circus Mondao, while you can.

Click here for a review of Peter Jolly's Circus.

The Mail on Sunday described Circus Mania as "A brilliant account of a vanishing art form." Read my backstage journey through the world of showmen, sword-swallowers, clowns and tiger trainers before another piece of the circus passes into history.
Click here to buy Circus Mania from Amazon.

Did you know the first calls to ban animals from British circuses were made exactly 100 years ago in 1914? To read the 100 year history of opposition to animals in entertainment, click here.


  1. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post. The whole blog is very nice found some good stuff and good information here Thanks..Also visit my page. animal rights One of our most important tasks is educating the public about the critical difference between animal rights and animal welfare.

    1. Thanks for your comment and link to your blog. The distinction between animal welfare and animal rights is, as you say, critical... and often forgotten. Animal rights groups have demonised circuses, but there's a strong case that animal trainers could have an important role in enhancing our understanding of the relationship between humans and animals. Another blog worth visiting is . See also my post on Dr Marthe Kiley-Worthington: