Banning the use of wild animals in circuses has been a long-standing policy aim for the charity, but the Government were reluctant to act on a ‘small’ issue.

To secure change, we built a coalition of organisations to lobby the Government and, crucially, shifted the focus of the debate from the animals themselves, to the opportunity for post- Brexit Britain to promote itself as a champion for animal welfare.

Rules of

in Action

Rule Three

Arguments are never won, outcomes are

We pivoted our campaign to focus on what the continued use of wild animals said about Britain, particularly given that we were one of the few countries who had not already introduced a ban.


  • A new political engagement strategy and narrative for the RSPCA
  • Comprehensive digital, media and supporter campaigns to secure endorsements and a wide array of support


  • The Wild Animals in Circuses Act – achieving the campaign’s aims – became law in 2019.
  • A Private Members’ Bill was launched in the House of Commons and a number of MPs directly lobbied the Environment Minister to initiate change.
  • Over 50 Parliamentarians attended our Westminster event and signed up to support the campaign