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<div class="quote-container"><span style="color:#000000;"><span>Quote:</span></span>
<div class="quote-block"><span style="color:#000000;">Banning the use of wild animals in circuses could be in breach of the Human Rights Act, a junior minister claimed today.<br>
To howls of laughter from the Labour benches, environment minister Jim Paice said a case was being prepared by the European Circuses Association against the Austrian government after it banned the use of performing animals.<br>
He said an earlier statement that the case was already moving through the courts was inaccurate but his clarification did not change the Government's legal position on any ban.<br>
Mr Paice said: 'The very strong legal advice which we have received, and which is consistent with the case being prepared against Austria, is that a total ban on wild animals in circuses might well be seen as disproportionate action under the European Union Services Directive and under our own Human Rights Act.'<br>
Mr Paice added: 'To have pursued a ban in light of that legal advice we believe would have been irresponsible.'<br>
But shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh said 'the big top was spinning out of control' at the Environment Department as ministers did not seem to know whether there was currently a legal challenge.<br>
She challenged the Government to place the legal advice it had received in the Commons library so it could be scrutinised by MPs.<br>
'On the legal cases that don't exist and hiding behind human rights legislation, it is this department which is pathetic,' she said.<br><br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br></span></div>
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7,014 Posts
I had no idea Austria banned animals in circuses. Now if we could just get other countries to follow their example...<br><br>
And I can't believe people are trying to claim that animals are necessary for circuses. Cirque du Soleil is the most obvious counter example there. But besides that, I was actually in a school circus in college that was human only, and we had plenty of more traditional circus routines.<br><br>
--Fromper<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/juggle.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":juggle:">
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