Archive for Jim Paice
www.guardian.co.uk 19th May 2011
The argument over whether to ban animals performing in circuses has become even more contentious as, it appears, the lawsuit that Environment Minister Jim Paice used to justify not enacting the ban doesn’t even exist yet. Following a campaign by The Independent newspaper to stop animals in circuses, galvanised in part by the horrific beatings experienced by Anne the Asian elephant at Bobby Roberts Super Circus (pictured), Mr Paice MP claimed that a ban was not possible due to a lawsuit between the European Circus Association and the Austrian government. He also added that it could be against the UK Human Rights Act. Fearing a similar legal issue in the UK, a ban was not possible. With the new revelation that the case does not actually exist, Mr Paice made the extraordinary statement that if you don’t like watching lions and elephants performing in circuses, then don’t go. MPs from all parties rounded on Mr Paice with Caroline Lucas branding the government ‘cowardly’ on the issue. There are 39 animals used in UK circuses today including lions, tigers, crocodiles, zebras and camels. There are no elephants after the retirement of Anne.
www.independent.co.uk 13th May 2011
The Independent newspapers campaign to ban the use of animals in circuses seems to have lost a bit of momentum due to worried politicians. The campaign has passed 15,000 signatories in the space of a week but a crucial Commons Question Time yesterday (Thursday 12th May) saw Mr Paice, the animal welfare minister, express his doubts about whether a ban would actually be legal. He cited the example of the Austrian government who had been taken to court over a similar ban. “Our government can hardly recommend something that might not be legal,” he said when tackled on the issue by Labour frontbencher Gavin Shuker MP. Mr Paice’s words brought angry criticism from animal right’s groups with David Bowles, director of communications at the RSPCA, saying, “The RSPCA is furious that the Government appear to have done a complete U-turn on the issue of whether wild animals are to be banned in circuses. The UK hiding behind a challenge to the Austrian government ban is a complete red herring as the European commission have said they are happy with bans on use of wild animals in member states.” The Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) are also behind the ban.
www.guardian.co.uk 20th September 2010
The Coalition government of the UK has gone back on its promises to make it a criminal offense to possess or import illegally felled timber. The Foreign Secretary William Hague promised to pass the legislation after a similar bill was brought into action in the USA in November last year. He even went as far s to criticise the Environment Secretary at the time, Labour’s Hilary Benn, for not promising the same. However, Jim Paice, Minister for Agriculture and Food, has told Green Party MP Caroline Lucas that no such action is forthcoming and the UK would stay in line with EU directives on the matter and no more. He called any further action by the UK “duplicative” and added that “in these difficult financial times, we need to focus on the principles of better regulation”. Campaigners believe that that such legislation is necessary to curb the 350-650 million square metres of forest felled annually for the illegal timber trade.
This is the second coalition turnaround on Green issues. Promises were also made to extend energy subsides for people who erected solar panels. Instead, the Climate and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne stated the plan would not go ahead and those that had erected green energy alternatives should be content with the “warm glow of being pioneers”.