Project information

Freedom for Animals in Circuses

Help us bring an end to animal suffering in circuses! With a ban already in place in Scotland and Ireland, and bans proposed to end wild animal circuses in Wales and England, working together we can ensure one final push to end cruelty for wild animals under the big top for good!

January 2019 - December 2021

Charity information: Freedom for Animals

Freedom for Animals logo
  • Need


    Confined to wagons as they travel, forced to perform degrading tricks, housed in unnatural social groups within inadequate environments, animals are still suffering in circuses. We have made great progress to end such cruelty, with a ban in place in Scotland and other countries across the UK promising to follow. But we have been promised bans before which were not acted upon, so it is more important than ever to keep up the fight for animals trapped in circuses. Until all are free!


    Our project will ensure government’s across the UK stick to their promises and finally ban wild animal circuses. Through continuing to monitor circuses, developing evidence-based resources, empowering local people to take action and lobbying government, we will make sure these animals are not forgotten.

    The English Government have promised to ban circuses by 2020, and so now is the opportune moment for one final push to secure a better future for wild animals experiencing great suffering.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Ensure wild animal circuses are banned in England


    » Continue to lobby government, ensuring the promise for a 2020 ban is finally realised!
    » Reach out to supporters across the UK to write to government, increasing pressure and ensuring this long overdue ban is not forgotten
    » Support local people to speak out against animal circuses, providing them with all the materials and resources they need

    What success will look like

    A ban against wild animal circuses in England finally brought into place!

    Aim 2

    Continue to work with the Welsh Government to secure a ban for wild animal circuses


    » Continue to lobby the Welsh Assembly, supporting them to put into action their pledge made earlier in 2018 to ban wild animal circuses
    » Reach out to supporters across the UK to write to the Welsh Assembly, asking them to enact a ban to protect animals
    » Support local people to speak out against animal circuses, providing them with all the materials and resources they need

    What success will look like

    A ban against wild animal circuses in Wales brought to fruition!

    Aim 3

    Push for a ban on wild animals in circuses in Northern Ireland


    » Continue to monitor animal circuses in Northern Ireland, ensuring we have a comprehensive picture of animals being exploited
    » Support local groups and individuals in Northern Ireland to speak out against animal circuses
    » Respond to legal opportunities as they arise, ensuring we are able to fight for wild animals and use our expertise to secure real change

    What success will look like

    The government in Northern Ireland actively considering the issue, moving closer to a ban against wild animal circuses.

    Aim 4

    Sadly, current bans only include wild animals; we will work to protect domestic animals too


    » Continue to lobby government, explaining that domestic animals face the same problems as wild animals, and must too be banned from circuses
    » Produce evidence-based materials highlighting the suffering domestic animals face, to secure bans
    » Work with local people across the UK to provide all the materials they need to speak out against all animal circuses

    What success will look like

    Governments across the UK also considering domestic animals in bans, with a view to these being put in place as soon as possible.

  • Impact


    Our project will seek to secure huge long-term changes, with no wild or domestic animal ever having to face cruelty and suffering in circuses anywhere in the UK ever again.


    The English Government have promised to ban wild animal circuses many times, but still animals are suffering. There is a risk that once again, they may backtrack on their promises. However, we are incredibly hopeful that this time, with countries across the UK having already banned circuses or having promised to do so, we will finally see success. With your support, we will be able to keep up the pressure ensuring England, Wales and Northern Ireland follow in Scotland’s footsteps!


    Via our magazine, e-newsletter, and postal updates we will share with all of our donors our successes. We will of course also celebrate the success of our project via social media.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £6,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £800 Circus monitoring Maintaining an extensive circus database
      £542 Volunteers Providing advice and guidance to volunteers supporting our vital work
      £2,265 Materials Designing, printing and distributing all resources required for local people to speak up for animals
      £1,763 Government-level work Strategy and government-level campaigning to secure legislative change
      £150 Promotion Enabling us to advertise our campaigns across social media, asking people to take action for animals
      £480 Support Office support and all necessary resources to make our project a success
  • Background


    We will work with governments across the UK to enact bans, and likewise support individuals and groups across the UK to speak out for animals in need.


    Our project will benefit all animals exploited in circuses, just like Kachana the camel who is travelling the UK right now with Circus Mondao. Kachana has been reared by the circus after his mother died, and has experienced a hoof condition which had been left untreated leaving him in great suffering. Animals like Kachana desperately need a ban enacted to end this cruelty.

    Our project responds to public demand to end wild animal circuses; a DEFRA consultation showed 95% of people in agreement.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Originally established in 1957 to end the use of animals in circuses, we have been a leading force in reducing animal suffering; from hundreds of animals exploited in the 1950s, only two circuses continue to tour England with wild animals today. Over half of local authorities in the UK have now banned animal circuses.

    We are so pleased our hard work is finally paying off with bans enacted and promised, and we are excited to lead on the final push to end suffering for good.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nicola O’Brien

    Campaigns Director

    Maddy Taylor

    Campaigns Officer

    Megan Crossley

    Office Assistant


    Circus Campaign Volunteer