Veteran actor Brian Blessed is urging the U.K. government to step up its efforts to fulfil a pledge to ban the use of live animals in travelling circuses.

Officials in Britain announced in 2012 that they would introduce legislation outlawing the controversial tradition following an investigation and high-profile campaign by members of Animal Defenders International.

However, the bill has not been actioned as it is still grinding through the parliamentary process, and long-term campaigner Blessed is urging lawmakers to speed up.

The Flash Gordon star says, "I am deeply opposed to the use of wild animals in circuses and have been working with Animal Defenders International to oppose such acts for many years. Despite repeated promises from the Government, we are still waiting for the law to pass and the animals are continuing to suffer. Please end this circus madness."

Other stars supporting the campaign include Sir Paul MCCartney, Sir Roger Moore, Ricky Gervais, and Brian May.