§ Mr. Coaker
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 with respect to circus animals; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
We have made no formal assessment of the effectiveness of the Protection of Animals Act 1911 with regard to circus animals. In 1998, there were 1,107 prosecutions made under the Act, but these figures do not show details of the animals involved or the profession of the defendants. The figures do, however, confirm that the Act—which covers all domestic and captive animals—is frequently used, and we have been given no reason to doubt its general effectiveness.
Circus animals, when being trained and performing, have additional protection against cruelty under the provisions of the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act 1925.