Wales and Scotland move towards decision on wild animal circus ban

CAPS and campaign partners from the Born Free Foundation, British Veterinary Association, OneKind and the RSPCA have cautiously welcomed news that both Wales and Scotland appear to be moving towards a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. In response to a written question last week the Welsh Government Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies AM, confirmed that:

“Following the publication of DEFRA’s Command paper 8538 on Wild Animals in Circuses, I intend writing to Lord de Mauley confirming my predecessor’s view on working with the UK Government and seeking an extension to the offence of using a wild animal in a circus to Wales”

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England has promised a ban on wild animal circus acts and now Scotland and Wales look set to follow

Additionally, at a dinner hosted by the British Veterinary Association last week, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment in the Scottish Government, Richard Lochhead, informed attendees that Scotland would be consulting on proposals to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in the coming year. Mr Lochhead said:

“Whilst circuses undoubtedly bring joy to a number of people and there is an ever dwindling number of wild animals in travelling circuses, and none are based in Scotland, this is a potential welfare issue that is close to many people’s hearts. This has been under consideration in Scotland for a number of years and I do take this issue seriously.

Which is why we are currently looking at the complex legal issues surrounding a possible ban in Scotland on ethical grounds and plan to issue a consultation on this soon to provide clear evidence of the feeling on this matter in Scotland”.

A spokesperson for the five organisations said:

“Having worked collectively for many years on the campaign to see an end to the use of wild animals in circuses, we are delighted to see that England, Scotland and Wales all appear to be moving in the right direction. This is very welcome news, as long as the UK Government’s draft bill proceeds swiftly. We will continue to work with the respective devolved administrations across the UK to ensure the best outcome for the animals as swiftly as possible”.

Campaigners are keen to see a UK-wide ban introduced in order to avoid circuses simply moving across borders when the promised English ban is implemented.

The show must NOT go on! Can you help us to ensure that demonstrations can continue by giving to our urgent circus campaign today?

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