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/


Mountain hare day of action – invitation to mass lobby of the Scottish Parliament

Scotland’s mountain hare are culled in huge numbers on grouse moors, even in our National Parks. OneKind are asking supporters to join forces on the 17th November 2016 to call on the Scottish Government to end the culls.

In one year, as many as 25,000 mountain hares were killed in Scotland. Why? For blood sports and the unfounded belief that their eradication could mean more red grouse to shoot. OneKind are calling on the Scottish Government to urgently introduce greater protections for the mountain hare, starting with a complete ban of culls and driven hunts in our National Parks. The Scottish Government has the powers to do this tomorrow – we just need to put the pressure on to make it happen!

Show you care for the mountain hare: join OneKind on the 17th of November at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh for a mass lobby against mountain hare culling. They will be rallying in front of Parliament at 12:00. Join the team for a fun and worthwhile afternoon speaking up for Scotland’s embattered wildlife.


Thursday 17 November from 12 -2PM or for as long as you can spare.


In front of the Scottish Parliament in central Edinburgh.


This will be a small, fun and good-natured event that will send a powerful signal to our elected representatives that they must take action and end the killing. The group will gather at 12:00 for a media photocall and rally, when you will hear from MSPs on what they think should be done about the culls, and leading mountain hare advocates. OneKind have invited all MSPs to drop by and meet us at any time between 12:30 and 2:00 to receive a special present and, if they wish, to show their support for the campaign. Please invite your MSP to come along by signing this e-action.

What do I do next?

Let OneKind know you’re coming by signing up here. This gives them an idea of numbers and once you’ve signed up they will email you more information about the day.

You can also find out more about the campaign and sign OneKind’s petition here.


Scottish Government to consider law on docking of dog’s tails

The Scottish government is considering relaxing the ban on the docking of dog’s tails.


The move follows complaints the existing legislation is flawed and needs to be changed.

Since the law took effect in April 2007, opponents have been arguing for an exemption for working dogs like spaniels and hunt point retrievers.
Scottish ministers will consult on the issue in the new year after new research by the University of Glasgow.

The study said docking the tails of working dog puppies could significantly cut their risk of injury by the time they are adults.

The government said if a change in the law was implemented, vets would be able to use their judgement to decide whether tail docking was in the best interest of the puppy in certain circumstances in line with the law in the rest of the UK.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland has a fantastic reputation for its animal welfare record and has some of the highest welfare standards in the world.

“But the issue of tail docking is one that divides opinion because nobody wants to see a dog suffer avoidable harm at any point in its life.

“Despite the ban on tail docking being in place since 2007, some stakeholders have continued to make the case to me that it is possible to bring forward a tightly defined exemption to the ban that would permit certain breeds of working dogs to be docked.

“I think it is therefore right that the government hears the views of all those with an interest on how any proposed exemptions for specific breeds – likely to be spaniels and hunt point retrievers – could work in practice.

“The consultation will therefore give everyone a chance to have their say and help inform us the best way to take this issue forward.”

At the moment, the only time a dog’s tail can be docked legally in Scotland is for veterinary treatment for an injured or diseased tail.

Article taken from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-35063168


Fox hunting ban is worthless blasts charity

The fox-hunting ban isn’t worth the paper it is written on according to a Scottish animal welfare charity.


With the beginning of November marking the start of the hunting season, OneKind is calling on the Scottish Government to strengthen the law which bans fox hunting in Scotland.

The charity claims despite the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 being in its 13th year there has been no convictions for those ignoring the ban as loopholes are still being exploited.

Very little has changed over the years and hunts are continuing to hunt as they did before the legislation was implemented according to OneKind director Harry Huyton.

“Fox hunting is apparently banned in Scotland, yet from this weekend hunts will be going out, seeking and killing foxes,” Huyton said.

“In all this time, very little has changed as a result of loopholes in the original legislation that in effect allow this cruel and outdated practice to continue.

“The Scottish Government has committed to reviewing the legislation and OneKind would like to see this carried out as an urgent priority with outcomes that finally make the ban worth the paper it’s written on.”

Before the hunting ban was passed in 2002 there were 10 operational mounted fox hunts in Scotland.

OneKind says there are still 10 today and there have been no successful prosecutions of mounted hunts under the act, whereas in England and Wales there have been a series of prosecutions under what it describes as the more robust Hunting Act.

The latest Scottish Government report into wildlife crime shows that only five cases associated with mounted fox hunt activities have been reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service since 2003, and none of these resulted in a conviction.

Huyton added: “The time has come for a speedy and determined review of the legislation to finally do what the law was intended for: banning fox hunting.”

Article taken from:  http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/tfn-news/fox-hunting-ban-is-worthless-blasts-charity?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Weekly+Third+Force+News+-+environment-and-development&utm_content=Weekly+Third+Force+News+-+environment-and-development+CID_e876362ab0d22ad07c03444e280ec172&utm_source=Email+marketing+software&utm_term=Fox+hunting+ban+is+worthless+blasts+charity


Take Action: End fox hunting in Scotland for good

Appeal from animal charity OneKind:


Fox hunting was meant to have been banned in Scotland back in 2002.

Securing the ban on hunting with dogs was one of our proudest moments. It was a landmark victory for the animal welfare movement, and the vast majority of the public, who agreed that chasing a wild animal with a pack of hounds to the point of exhaustion and death should not be acceptable under law. The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, as it is known, has helped counter some forms of hunting with dogs, but thirteen years later, it’s become clear that loopholes in the law allow mounted fox hunts to carry on hunting much the same as they did before.

*** Take action – email the Scottish Government ***

The law allows for packs of hounds to be used for stalking and flushing foxes from cover with the intention they will then be shot. As a result of this loophole, fox hunts in Scotland are able to continue chasing foxes, and there have been no successful prosecutions of hunts since the legislation was introduced. The League Against Cruel Sports investigation of Scottish Hunts in the 2014/15 season gave the impression that whilst exploiting this loophole was routine, the hunts they filmed didn’t even appear to have anyone with guns present.

We now have a chance to put an end to this cruelty for good. When the SNP intervened to save the Hunting Act in England and Wales from seriously damaging amendments, their spokesperson stated in no uncertain terms that, “we totally oppose fox hunting”. They also confirmed they would review whether the Scottish ban is strong enough.

This is our chance to close the loopholes and end fox hunting in Scotland for good. OneKind are asking us to help finish off what we started many, many years ago. Take action now, and ask the Minister responsible to close the loopholes and make the hunting ban in Scotland effective.


Rabbit rights call could get second hearing next month

Campaigners hope a petition calling for greater legal protection for pet rabbits will get a second hearing in Holyrood next month.


Rabbits Require Rights Scotland‘s 2,044-name petition was first discussed by MSPs earlier this year. It calls for rabbits to be given the same protection as cats and dogs as well as regulations on breeding and the minimum size of housing. Earlier this month, it emerged hundreds of pet rabbits have been abandoned.

The Scottish SPCA said it rescued 728 rabbits in 2014 and had taken 550 into care so far this year.

Rabbits Require Rights Scotland described rabbits as the “UK’s most neglected pet”. A spokeswoman said: “As the law currently stands there are no enforceable welfare protection available to rabbits. They are too easily sold and too easily discarded. For want of a better word, they are sold like sweeties.”

The spokeswoman added: “We will return to parliament for the second hearing of our petition sometime in September or October when the new session dates are announced. We’ve had some good feedback from other welfare bodies in support of our aims, so it is hoped that some level of the improvements we have called for will be addressed.”

Article taken from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-34064391


Holyrood backs airgun licence move

In a historical move towards stamping out cruelty to animals in Scotland, MSPs have passed legislation requiring all airgun owners in Scotland to hold a licence. The Scottish government pledged to introduce the licensing scheme following the death of Glasgow toddler Andrew Morton, who was shot dead by an airgun in 2005.


The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill was passed by 92 votes to 17. Backed by major animal welfare organisations such as the League Against Cruel Sports, this marks a landmard achievement in fighting wildlife crime across the country.


Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “We have a long standing commitment to reducing gun crime, and the licensing of air weapons has been central to that aim. It featured in our manifesto in 2007 and 2011, and the powers to regulate on air weapons were finally devolved to this Parliament in the Scotland Act of 2012.

“We have acted on this new power, consulting widely with experts and the public. Our proposals have not always been universally welcomed but we believe they strike the right balance between respecting the interests of those people who shoot legitimately for work, sport, pest control or leisure, and the need to ensure that those who misuse guns do not have access to them.”

Huge thanks to all who emailed, called or wrote to your MSPs. We did it!!!

league air guns


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