Ban on circus animals hits roadblock

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A ban on using wild animals in circus acts has been blocked again in Parliament and will not be law before the election.

Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick saw his Bill objected to for a 12th and final time at the end of today’s Commons sitting, which is the last for backbench bills before dissolution later this month.

The Wild Animals In Circuses Bill has cross-party support and the Bill’s promoter said it is identical to draft legislation previously published by the Government.

Mr Fitzpatrick has insisted the Prime Minister has backed the legislation but Conservative MPs and whips have ensured it cannot proceed on each of the occasions it has been called.

The Poplar MP did not win a high place in the private member’s ballot last summer meaning his Bill has always been at the bottom of the pile for scrutiny. This means any MP can block its progress by simply calling “object” when the Bill is called.