A PROPOSED ban on wild animals in travelling circuses has moved one step closer after it was introduced in Parliament by a Cumbrian MP today (6).

Trudy Harrison, Copeland MP, introduced a Ten Minute Rule Motion in the House of Commons looking to establish the ban, and received widespread support from across the benches.

Mrs Harrison said: "As a child I remember my grandad's often repeated account of the travelling circus which visited my small village of Bootle in 1936.

"The highlight for him was the tale of the mad elephant which escaped and ran riot up Bootle Main Street.

"It captured the imaginations through generations, but what was acceptable then is no longer so today.

"I now think about how unhappy and frightened this magnificent creature must have been."

Mrs Harrison has called for England to follow other countries such as Austria, Belgium and Italy in introducing the ban.

She said: "My own experiences have instilled in me a desire to put an end to travelling circuses using wild animals and my opinion is shared by the majority of the general public.

"Using wild animals in a travelling circus is no longer viewed as morally or ethically acceptable to our modern society.

"I do not doubt that the vast majority of circuses care for their animals and adhere to the welfare standards, but these animals are not allowed to exhibit their natural behaviours."

The bill will now be prepared for a second reading on March 16, with Mrs Harrison working alongside Workington MP Sue Hayman, Sir Roger Gale, and Zac Goldsmith among others.

Mrs Harrison praised the work of fellow MPs in their earlier efforts on the matter.

She said: "In recent years MPs have worked hard on this issue and I want to pay tribute to their efforts.

"I am grateful to my colleagues from right across the house for their support on this bill."