Anne the rescued elephant in her enclosure at Longleat Safari Park

The government has announced that wild animals will be banned from Britain's circuses and a tougher licensing system will be implemented to ensure good condition for the animals until the ban takes place.

Although the MPs backed the ban last year after an elephant named Anne was filmed being treated cruelly, due to some legal issues the ban did not take place.

"There is no place in today's society for wild animals being used for our entertainment in travelling circuses. Wild animals deserve our respect," BBC quoted Animal Welfare Minister Lord Taylor as saying.

"We have said many times we wanted to ban this outdated practice, but before we could do that there were serious legal issues we had to consider. We are developing proposals to introduce a bill as soon as parliamentary time allows," he added.

The new license system is expected to come into force by summer. Accordingly, any travelling circus that uses wild animals for performances should hold a valid license and should have a retirement plan for each animal.

The animals should be provided proper accommodation, good care, and high welfare standards during training and performances.

A government-appointed inspector, paid for by the circuses, will ensure rules are met, officials said.

Around 35 to 50 wild animals, including tigers, zebras and camels are being kept in travelling circus groups, the BBC report said.