Londonderry MP Mark Durkan has backed the introduction of a new Bill at Westminster, which will ban the use of wild animals in circuses.
Parliament voted unanimously in favour of a ban in 2011, and the government first announced that it would take action on this issue in March 2012.
However, a delay in bringing in a ban has seen the number of wild animal acts increase and the return of big cats to circuses in the UK.
This Bill (which is identical to the one published by the government last year and scrutinised by MPs) would ban wild animal acts by the end of 2015.
Mr Durkan, a long-standing supporter of the campaign for the ban spearheaded by Animal Defenders International (ADI), said: “It is important that this Bill can become law quickly so that the wild animals currently performing in circuses can be spared any further suffering.
“Given the level of public support that the ban enjoys – a resounding 94 per cent - I am hopeful progress can be made.”