Wild animals in circuses ban: Scottish Government makes good on promise

09 October 2017

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham MSP has led a debate on stage 1 of the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill, which would make it an offence for a circus operator to cause or permit a wild animal to be used in a travelling circus in Scotland.

MSPs unanimously voted in support of the General Principles of the Bill, however many also called for the Bill to be strengthened.

Responding to the stage 1 vote, British Veterinary Association Scottish Branch President Melissa Donald said: “This is an issue that BVA has long campaigned on and, while it may not affect a great number of individual animals, the use of wild animals in this way is emblematic of the way we treat all animals.

"Scotland is already leading the way on so many animal health and welfare initiatives and this important, cross-party vote shows Scottish Government making good on its promises to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses. The first country in the UK to take steps do so.”

The Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill will now move onto stage 2 for detailed consideration and amendments in Committee, and then return to the full Parliament for final amendments and approval.

BVA Media Office