Vets hail Scotland’s lead on banning wild animals in travelling circuses

Scottish Government
Scottish Government

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and BVA Scottish Branch this week welcomed the Scottish Government’s animal welfare lead in bringing forth legislation to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.

The Scottish Government announced on Tuesday (October 4) that it will be the first nation in the United Kingdom to enact legislation banning the use of wild animals in circuses with a Bill banning wild animals in travelling circuses to be introduced in May 2017 for implementation in 2018.

It is an issue that the British Veterinary Association has long campaigned for and the UK’s largest membership organisation for vets hailed this breakthrough in animal welfare legislation.

BVA Scottish Branch President Grace Webster said: “The announcement of this Bill to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses is something that everyone in Scotland should be proud of. The use of wild animals in circuses is emblematic of the way we treat animals and this ban is something we can hold up as an example of how this country takes a lead in animal welfare.”

BVA President Gudrun Ravetz said: “Scotland has shown the rest of the UK the way in acting meaningfully through legislation to end animal suffering and improve the welfare of these animals. While a great number of animals may not be affected, this ban goes to the heart of how we think about and treat animals in the world today. We will be urging other UK governments to follow this vital lead.”

The Scottish Government also announced this week that new regulations on the use of electronic training collars for animals will be introduced in Scotland and legislation will be changed to permit the shortening of the tails of Spaniel and Hunt Point Retriever puppies where a vet believes they are likely to be for use as a working dog and risk serious tail injury in later life.