Colchester MP puts paternity leave on pause to ban wild animals from circuses

Will Quince pictured with newborn daughter Annie

Will Quince pictured with newborn daughter Annie - Credit: Archant

Colchester’s MP put his paternity leave on pause in a bid to bring in a new law to ban wild animals in circuses.

Will Quince, who had to roll up his sleeves and help when his new daughter Anne Frances was born unexpectedly at home at the weekend, apologised to his wife for heading to Westminster after he won a slot to present his bill to the House of Commons.

He said that the Conservative and Labour manifestos had both included that ban of wild animals in circuses last May, and there were still 18 wild animals being used by travelling circuses in England.

“That is a small number of animals, but it is a practice that I, the majority of MPs and the vast majority of the public think should be brought to an end,” he said.

“In the past two centuries, wild animals were an essential part of the circus experience,” he said. “For many people, particularly those who could not afford foreign holidays, circuses were the only opportunity they had to see wild and exotic animals.”


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He said there were now world-class zoos, including Colchester Zoo, which had elephants, tigers, penguins, lions, bears and chimpanzees, among other animals.

“The zoo does fantastic work caring for the animals and providing them with different types of enrichment in order to occupy their time and promote natural behaviours. Crucially, it aims to ensure that the conditions in which wild animals are kept are as close as possible to their natural habitats, thus educating people about a species’ natural environment as well as better enabling them to promote important issues such as conservation,” he added.

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