Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tory Minister Jim Paice witters on about animals’ human rights leaving the House of Commons in stitches, maybe someone should have a word!

Dear All

If you live long enough you will hear it all.

Mostly stupidity I grant you but this takes the biscuit.

Tory MP Jim Paice who is a Minister of the Crown has said that banning wild animals in circuses could breach human rights law.

Animals don’t have human rights Jim!

And across the dispatch box there were howls of laughter directed at him.

Who is this loon?

Paice said legal advice suggested a total ban "might well be seen as disproportionate action" under the Human Rights Act.

He said to have pursued a total ban would have been irresponsible.

Labour's Mary Creagh like a human tiger (with human rights) jumped on this nonsense and said the department was being "pathetic."

I wonder how much Paice gets paid?

Last week, gaffe prone Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman announced there would be no ban on the use of wild animals in circuses but promised to enforce "high welfare standards".

Didn’t we before?

She also suggested a ban would be unworkable because of a court case in Austria.

Junior minister Mr Paice told MPs he wanted to "clarify the confusion".

But he said his clarification did not change the government's legal position on any ban.

To laughter from sitting MPs, Paice said:

"The very strong legal advice which we have received, and which is consistent with the case being prepared against Austria, is that a total ban on wild animals in circuses might well be seen as disproportionate action under the European Union Services Directive and under our own Human Rights Act. To have pursued a ban in light of that legal advice we believe would have been irresponsible."

Surely it is more irresponsible to leave him in a position of authority?

Creagh then challenged the government to place the legal advice it had received in the Commons library so it could be scrutinised by MPs.

We wait with interest to looking at that piece of case law.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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