Good news from Austria this week, when their Constitutional Court in Vienna announced that it had thrown out the application by Circus Krone to overturn Austria’s ban on wild animals in circuses. After we launched the Anne investigation earlier this year, we challenged the UK Government’s refusal to ban wild animals in circuses here, in the face of overwhelming public and parliamentary support. Our most recent poll showed 72% of the public favour a ban, and the Defra public consultation published in January 2010, had resulted in 94.5% in favour of a ban. Scenes of high farce ensued in Parliament, when the minister misled the House of Commons with a claim that Austria’s ban was under threat and that this would be a legal impediment to a ban in the UK. Our sources at the Court confirmed that no challenge was in play at that time (although Austria’s ban had been challenged and defeated previously). We worked with an amazing group of MPs who pressed ahead and got the stunning Backbenchers’ Committee debate in June, when the world heard the details of the Government arm-twisting for those who want to see an end to the suffering of these animals in circuses, once and for all. Then, lo and behold! Circus Krone lodged a further challenge to Austria’s ban and now this too, has been rejected. The Court found that the Austrian Government’s ban was “in the public interest (namely the protection of animals)”… “necessary” and “appropriate” and that the measure was therefore “justified and proportional”. Methinks the Government has nowhere left to hide…… 2012 is going to be interesting!
A Christmas Gift for Suffering Circus Animals