Stop Circus Suffering

Scotland to introduce wild animal act ban in 2017

Animal Defenders International (ADI) welcome the announcement from Scottish Government to introduce legislation to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland in May 2017, for implementation in 2018.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon first outlined her plans to introduce a Wild Animals in Circuses Bill in Scottish Parliament in September, and Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has confirmed these plans.

The new Bill will:

  • Ban the use (performance and exhibition) of such animals in travelling circuses on ethical grounds on the basis that this practice is morally objectionable to a large proportion of Scottish society
  • Put in place enforcement provisions and sanctions for non-compliance with the ban

Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International, said: “We are delighted that Scottish Government has decided press ahead with a ban and end circus suffering. Circuses are no place for wild animals and the public in Scotland, England and Wales overwhelmingly support a ban on wild animal acts. We hope that Westminster will do the same.”

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Scotland is a nation of animal lovers and we take the welfare of our pets, animals and livestock very seriously. We will (…)ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses, which is widely considered to be morally unacceptable in the present day, and undertake a full review of penalties under existing animal health and welfare legislation. I believe this package of measures will improve the protection given to the welfare of animals in Scotland over the coming months and years.”

The new Scottish Bill follows a public consultation two years ago “Should the use of wild animals in travelling circuses be banned in Scotland?” by the Scottish parliament in 2014. The results revealed a huge distaste for such acts amongst the public, with 98% of Scots backing a ban.

Scottish actress Annette Crosbie highlighted the terrible price paid by animals in circuses, describing the ‘form of entertainment’ as ‘’Victorian” and “endangers and degrades helpless animals.”

Years of ADI investigations in the UK and around the world have exposed the inevitable suffering of animals made to perform and tour with circuses. Given the constant travel and their temporary nature, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. Welfare is always compromised.

32 countries around the world have introduced prohibitions on animals in circuses to date, with England and Wales promising to ban wild animal acts.

Take action to stop circus suffering!

  • Avoid circuses that have animal acts, and encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same.
  • Speak out when an animal circus comes to town – email us for leaflets and posters.
  • Ask your MP to urge the Government to bring in its promised ban in England.
  • In Wales and Northern Ireland contact your AM or your MLA and urge them to call for action too.
  • Donate today and help us campaign for an end to the suffering of animals in circuses.

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