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Jumbo campaign at Blackpool

The Blackpool Citizen’s campaign to stop electric “goads” being used on elephants at Blackpool Zoo has received a boost in Parliament.

Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth, Mike Hancock, has raised an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for the prods to be outlawed. Although it does not become law, such a motion does raise awareness of the issue in Parliament.

The Citizen has been running the campaign since the beginning of the year after a local animal rights group claimed electric goads were being used to make the elephants do tricks.

Mr Hancock, who is patron of the group, raised the motion on October 30 and has since gained more than 30 signatures.

He is calling for a number of practices to be banned – including physical punishment and depriving animals of food.

Since the newspaper highlighted the use of goads, Blackpool Zoo has locked them away and now uses them only to protect keepers.

Animal experts claim the devices are not just cruel – but could cause the animals to build up a resistance to their use and attack the zoo keepers.

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “This is not exclusive to Blackpool Zoo, it is not an isolated case. What I think is important is that the Government is already making progress on these issues and a review of protocol and procedure at zoos is taking place.”

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