What's the issue?
Captive wild animals have complex welfare needs and instinctive natural behavioural needs that must be met.
The use of wild animals in travelling circuses is banned:
- in England by the Wild Animals in Circuses Act 2019
- in Scotland by the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Act 2018
Travelling circuses involve the regular transportation of wild animals between sites and locations and the facilities must be portable and often size-limited. This means they aren't able to meet the needs of wild animals for a suitable environment, with adequate space, enrichment materials, temperature, and noise regulation.
Time spent travelling, and performance schedules, may disrupt the normal diet of wild animals, by impacting the storage, preparation, and provision of a suitable diet.
Limited space can also result in unsuitable social groupings for individual animals and high social density, which can lead to stress, aggression, and abnormal behaviour.
What's our view?
The use of wild animals in travelling circuses should be banned across the UK.
Although the number of wild animals in UK circuses is small, using animals in this way is emblematic of the way we treat all animals.
We successfully campaigned for legislation in Scotland and England to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses and continue to campaign in Wales and Northern Ireland.