Breaking: Scotland publish Bill to ban wild animal circuses

The Captive Animals’ Protection Society, along with campaign partners, have welcomed publication of the Scottish Government Bill to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland, along with proposals to review performing animal regulations.

The Bill covers all non-domesticated animals travelling and performing in circuses, and any form of display or exhibition in static premises such as winter quarters.

A Scottish Government consultation in 2014 produced an overwhelming response in favour of banning wild animal circuses in Scotland.  Out of 2,043 responses, 98% thought the use of wild animals for performance in travelling circuses should be banned; and 96.4% thought the use of wild animals for exhibition (without performing) in travelling circuses should be banned. Both aspects are covered in the Bill.

The most recent Scottish poll, carried out for the More for Scotland’s Animals coalition in March 2016, found that 75% of those polled supported an end to the use of wild animals in circuses, rising to 78% in the 18-24 age group.

The ban will be made on ethical grounds reflecting respect for animals and their natural behaviours.  The same approach was taken when the Scottish Parliament banned fur farming in 2002.


Nicola O’Brien, Campaigns Director with the Captive Animals’ Protection Society commented:

“With 98% of consultation respondents stating wild animals in circuses should be banned, we applaud the Scottish Government for listening to the public by making this historic decision. Scotland has not only taken action to protect animals within its borders but also paved the way for the rest of the UK to follow. A joined-up approach across the union is needed to ensure wild animals are truly free from exploitation in circuses.”

The Scottish Government seeks to achieve early passage of the Bill in order to establish that wild animal circuses are not welcome or permitted in Scotland.  Until the legislation is in place there is a risk travelling circuses could bring wild animals to Scotland.

The call to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland gained overwhelming public support following an outcry as Thomas Chipperfield brought two lions and three tigers to overwinter at a farm near Fraserburgh in 2014.

Animal Defenders International, Born Free Foundation, Captive Animals’ Protection Society and OneKind are urging Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) to support the Bill when it comes before them.  A ban on wild animal circuses featured in the manifestos of the SNP, Scottish Labour and Scottish Green parties for the 2016 election and the issue is widely regarded as unfinished business.

Once passed, the legislation will be the first outright ban on wild animal circuses anywhere in the UK, joining 18 European countries, and 35 around the world, with restrictions in place – and more in the pipeline.

The animal protection groups have concerns about other forms of entertainment using animals, such as reindeer displays, bird of prey exhibitions in shopping centres, and mobile zoos and animal handling parties. The organisations have welcomed a commitment from the Scottish Government today to address these activities and are calling for this review to progress in parallel with the circus bill.

Take Action!

  • Contact your local MSP and ask them to support the Bill, using the points below – https://www.writetothem.com/
    • 98% of respondents to a Scottish consultation said they thought wild animals in circuses should be banned
    • 18 European countries and 35 around the world have bans or restrictions on animals in circuses
    • Scotland can lead the way on banning animal circuses in the UK
  • Ahead of the General Election, contact your local MPs for all political parties and ask them to include a ban in their manifesto! https://www.writetothem.com/

Article taken from: https://www.captiveanimals.org/news/2017/05/


Scotland to Become First UK Country to Ban Wild Animals in Circuses

Scotland is to become the first part of the UK to ban wild animals in traveling circuses. The move is being welcomed by animal rights activists who call the practice “a Victorian anachronism.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined her plans in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday (September 6), which include intentions to introduce a Wild Animals in Circuses Bill.

The new Scottish Bill follows a public consultation two years ago, in which 98% of the Scottish public overwhelmingly backed a ban.

Also in 2014, it was revealed that five large cats — three tigers and two lions — were being kept in tiny cages on a farm in the far northeastern corner of Scotland, even during the Scottish winter. Photos showing the large animals repetitively pacing in their small cages caused uproar, highlighting the failure of any part of the UK to pass legislation banning the use of wild animals for public display attractions.

Now, Scotland has taken the lead, in a move that has been welcomed by animal welfare charities.

“By their very nature, traveling circuses cannot provide animals with the exercise or facilities they need. Animals in circuses are severely restricted in every aspect of their lives — small spaces, barren environments; their life is one of boredom and frustration, often punctuated by abuse. They spend almost their entire lives on the road, moving from one makeshift encampment to another,” Devon Prosser from Animal Defenders Internationaltold Sputnik.

“Once a circus animal is broken, it’ll probably spend the rest of its life performing more or less the same routine. The public don’t get to see the animals in training, but only in rehearsal when they are performing the same tricks they may have done for five, ten or more years.”

Calling the practice of wild animals being forced to perform for the public, “a Victorian anachronism,” Mr. Prosser called for the rest of the UK to follow Scotland’s example.

“We hope that England and Wales will follow suit with Scotland. The government announced in 2012 its intent to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in England, with legislation drafted the following year and manifesto commitment made last year.

“Although a timetable for bringing in the new law has yet to be announced the government has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to legislate. Wales has also stated its intention to take action on the issue but again no timetable has yet been announced for legislation to be passed.”

Wild animals that are currently licensed for use in England include: camels, foxes, macaws, raccoons, reindeer, and zebra.

Worldwide, there are currently 30 countries which have some sort of ban on the practice.

Mr. Prosser said that animal rights activists see more countries following suit, thanks to the success of non-wild animal circus entertainment.

“In 2006, 20 circuses toured with around 100 wild animals including 19 elephants and 38 lions & tigers. Today there are only two circuses with 17 wild animals.

“The sharp decline in animal circuses has been matched by an increase in animal-free circuses. As shown by their huge popularity, shows like Cirque du Soleil are far more entertaining than animals performing pointless tricks.”

A wild animal ban is also supported by the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe who have urged nations to:

“Prohibit the use of wild mammals in travelling circuses across Europe since there is by no means the possibility that their physiological, mental and social requirements can adequately be met.”

Article taken from: https://m.sputniknews.com/europe/20160907/1045067137/scotland-circus-animal-ban.html


Renew calls for wild animal ban as circus comes to Langley Mill

The RSPCA are urging all members of the public vote with our feet and give a circus coming to Langley Mill in Derbyshire a miss.


Peter Jolly’s Circus will be in the town, just off the A610, from 26 August to 31 August. The circus uses wild animals.

The charity has long been pushing for a complete ban on the use of wild animals in circuses; yet they still continue to be forced into performing crude tricks for so-called ‘entertainment’.

Due to their dependency on regular travel, circuses can’t provide the sizeable and complex living conditions that are required for animals traditionally used in this way such as lions, zebras and tigers.

The British public want to see a ban on wild animals in circuses.

RSPCA head of public affairs, David Bowles, said: “The impact of circuses on animal welfare is serious and potentially debilitating for each and every animal involved. Animals are forced to endure the constant travel, cramped temporary cages, and noisy conditions of a circus. It’s not a quaint tradition that harks back to Victorian times. It’s an archaic and heartless practice which must be stopped completely. This circus may be one of two that are licensed to use wild animals – but that is still too many. The British public have a better understanding of animal welfare than the UK Government are giving them credit for. Ninety-four per cent of people who responded to a Defra consultation on this subject wanted a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. The recognition of animals as sentient beings is now widely accepted across the world and legislation is slowly catching up – except for here in the UK and it’s unacceptable. The circus isn’t the greatest show on earth, it’s the saddest show on earth for the animals and it’s a practice that needs to be abolished.”

Find out more about the issues associated with keeping wild animals in circuses and take action to help ensure a ban on keeping wild animals in circuses is enacted as soon as possible.


Take Action: Campaign to end wild animal circuses in Scotland

The analysis of a recent Scottish Government consultation on the use of wild animals in circuses showed 98% support among respondents in favour of a ban.

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Animal charity OneKind are now asking people to keep up the pressure for a ban and to email the Cabinet Secretary and MSPs.

The 98% result is a fantastic one and shows that public opinion is overwhelmingly on our side when it comes to consigning to history the outdated and cruel practice of exploiting wild animals in the name of entertainment.

Whilst there have been no wild animal circuses based in Scotland for a significant time, circuses with wild animals have toured to Scotland in recent years. Then, in late 2014, a big cat circus trainer moved his animals from England to a farm near Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. The move triggered an outcry from members of the public, animal welfare experts and parliamentarians alike and led to demands being made upon the Scottish Government to implement a ban as soon as possible.

In 2012 the UK Government introduced a draft bill to ban wild animals in circuses but since that time there has been no meaningful progress towards implementing the necessary legislation to outlaw the continued use of wild animals in circuses. Scotland now has a unique opportunity to lead the way in ending the exploitation of wild animals in circuses.

OneKind along with the Born Free Foundation want to see the Scottish Government implement an immediate ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. You can help make this a reality by sending an email to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs asking him to implement legislation to ban wild animals in circuses as soon as possible, and also your own MSP. who can press the Scottish Government to take action.

You can read the full consultation analysis here.

*** Sign the petition here: http://action.onekind.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=75&ea.campaign.id=40006&ea.url.id=427601 ***

Thank you for supporting this campaign and taking action to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.


RSPCA Cymru launches campaign to ban wild circus animals

A campaign to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Wales has been launched by RSPCA Cymru.

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The charity has raised concerns about the temporary housing, forced training and performance of the animals.

Political campaigns manager Martin Fidler Jones said the Welsh government should ban the “outdated practice”.

The Welsh government said it would be writing to the UK government about the issue.

The charity is now urging supporters to sign a petition, which will be submitted to the National Assembly for Wales’ Petitions Committee in October.

Mr Jones said: “The Welsh government acknowledges the strong support which exists for a ban, and had previously invited the UK government to legislate on their behalf on the issue.

“But following delays, it is now time for the Welsh government to bring forward their own proposals so the use of this outdated practice in circuses touring Wales is finally brought to an end.”

In response, a Welsh government spokesman said: “As set out in our Animal Health and Welfare Framework, the way we treat animals is an important reflection of our society’s values.

“As we have previously made clear, we are prepared to work with the UK government to find a solution to the use of wild animals in circuses and will be writing to them shortly to discuss their proposals.”