One of British circus’ last big-cat trainers has criticised the news he will no longer be able to feature wild animals in shows in England.
Thomas Chipperfield, whose family history of animal training dates back more than 300 years, described the passing of a bill banning wild animals in circuses as “really devastating” and said it represented a loss of his ancestry and culture.
This week, the Wild Animals in Circuses (No 2) Bill passed its third and final reading in parliament and will now to proceed to royal assent. It brings an end to a legislative process that began in 2006 and means travelling circuses in England will no longer be able to feature wild animals from January.
A ban is already in place in Scotland and is planned for Wales.
Chipperfield is one of the last animal trainers in the UK to work with big cats – lions and tigers – for live circus shows.
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