A successful campaign to ban lions, tigers, elephants and zebras from travelling circuses in England has prompted the government to consider extending the law to cover all wild animals in all circuses.
MPs and animal welfare groups have been lobbying for years for a change in the law, and the Sunday Times reports that the government is drafting a bill for inclusion in the Queen's speech to prevent circuses in England from using wild animals.
The bill follows a 2011 political rebellion, led by Mark Pritchard, of a cross-party coalition of MPs that defied the government and backed a ban. This came after footage of Anne, Britain's last circus elephant, who was secretly filmed being kicked, stabbed and hit by circus workers while chained in a barn.
Several circuses in England still feature trained wild animals in their shows. There are 24 wild animals still travelling with circuses in the UK.
Animal welfare groups say that the complex physical, behavioural and psychological needs of wild animals canmnot be met in a circus environment.
Liz Tyson, director of the Captive Animals' Protection Society, said: "Tigers lions, elephants and camels simply cannot live a good life when their home is the back of a lorry and their sole purpose in life is to perform degrading tricks to circus audiences."