This follows the practice in a growing number of countries where the use of animals in circuses is viewed as unnecessary and abusive of the rights of animals.

The Command Paper for an Act “to make provision for offences relating to the use of animals in travelling circuses, and to provide for the enforcement of those offences, and for connected purposes” is published on the Government website and can be accessed on

Comments have to be submitted by 9 October.

Commenting on the publication of the Command Paper, Environment Minister John Cortes said “I am delighted to have published this Command Paper. It shows we are at the forefront of Environment and Animals Rights issues as we should be. The Government would not allow the use of circus animals in any case but it is important this should be backed by law.

“This is one of a number of pieces of legislation relating to animals that we are working on and more will be published soon.