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Animal welfare
Scotland seeks views on banning wild animals in travelling circuses

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THE Scottish Government is seeking views on whether the use of wild animals in travelling circuses should be banned in Scotland. It notes that, while there are currently no circuses that use wild animals based in Scotland, it is possible for circuses based in England or mainland Europe to visit Scotland with their performing wild animals.

‘It is clear from the steady stream of letters to Scottish Government ministers that MSPs and the public have serious and on-going concerns about many aspects of the use of animals in travelling circuses, but especially the use of wild animals,’ the Scottish Government says. ‘These concerns not only involve perceived animal welfare issues, but also deal with the ethical point of whether it is acceptable, in today's society, to transport wild animals throughout the country and make them perform simply for public entertainment.’

In a consultation document, it notes that, until recently, there were four British travelling circuses that used wild animals, but it was not possible to obtain precise figures for the number of animals used by these circuses. It also notes that, since legislation regulating the use of wild animals in travelling circuses came into force in England in January 2013, …

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