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Last Updated: Monday May 16 2011 17:11 GMT

Circus ban not going ahead for wild animals

Circus elephants

Circuses not set for wild animal ban

A ban on wild animals in circuses in England isn't going ahead, but the government has said it will do more to make sure they're looked after well.

Vets will look after a new scheme designed to prevent cruelty by giving out licences to circuses that are looking after animals properly.

Some people and animal charities are upset because they had hoped for a ban.

To get a licence, circuses would have to have trained keepers and large enclosures for the animals.

There was anger earlier this year when secret video showed a 59-year-old circus elephant called Anne being beaten with a pitchfork in Northamptonshire.

She has since been rehomed at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.

In 2009, there were an estimated 39 wild animals being used in circuses in the UK, including elephants, tigers, lions, camels, zebras and crocodiles.