Will Scotland Be the First Part of the UK to Ban Wild-Animal Circuses?

Posted by 4 months ago | Permalink | Comments (25)

In a promising new development, the Scottish Government has just said that it is planning to ban archaic circus performances using wild animals.

Elephant Circus CC0

“The Scottish Government intends to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses”, a spokesperson for ministers said last week. “We are currently investigating the best mechanism for introducing legislation on ethical grounds and will make further announcements in due course.”

Last year, a public consultation on the issue in Scotland found that an overwhelming 98 per cent of respondents wanted a ban. Yet this is the first time that the government has confirmed openly that it plans to act on this clear mandate and make it illegal to force animals such as lions, elephants and zebras to perform absurd tricks.

Veterinary experts and animal-welfare groups agree that wild animals’ needs can never be adequately met in a travelling circus environment, and activists have documented deprived and frustrated lions and tigers pacing around their small cages when they were kept in “beast wagons” in Aberdeenshire over the winter. The sooner Scotland – and the rest of the UK – outlaws this deeply unethical form of entertainment, the better.

Of course, words are not the same as actions. Back in 2012, the Prime Minister made a similar promise about banning wild-animal circuses in England and Wales – but his government has been dithering ever since and has so far failed to bring any actual legislation to Parliament.

We’re hoping the government at Holyrood will do better! Please encourage Scottish politicians to bring in legislation against cruel circuses as soon as possible.



  • mandy tait commented on June 14, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    Please support the scottish government. Stop animal cruelty. Please sign and share. It costs nothing 🙂 thank you

    • penelope commented on June 18, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      perhaps the scots are more humane than the English, especially if they ban circuses having animals

      • CAMIEL CHAUDHARY commented on June 22, 2016 at 1:55 pm

        Perhaps Humans are all the same no matter where they’re from.

    • Mel Culligan commented on June 19, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      Well over due but a great first step! We will ALWAYS keep fighting to stop this animal cruelty!

  • Alison mills commented on June 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Please just stop, the circus is no place for an animal

    • penelope commented on June 18, 2016 at 11:49 pm

      circuses are outdated, people used animals for cruelty and entertainment in medieval times, are we still as backward as them??????????????????????????????///

  • Christina commented on June 14, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Ban all animal circus shows/acts in Scotland and the rest of the UK! Animals don’t get a choice in this.

  • Pets & Vets Online commented on June 15, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Great news that there is some progress in banning wild-animal circuses, we hope that soon we will witness the ban we are all waiting for! There is so much hope, specially knowing that such a huge percent of people understand why this ban is so much needed!

  • Dorothy Talbot commented on June 15, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Their should be no animals in circuses at all Ban the lot no wild animals should be in place like that

  • shirley robinson commented on June 18, 2016 at 11:06 am

    no animal should be treated badly for our entertainment.. send them to a santuary so they can be free.

  • Barry Kew commented on June 18, 2016 at 11:51 am

    The SNP have been saying this for years.

  • J White commented on June 18, 2016 at 11:52 am

    My children were not allowed to go to a circus, they know why, so please the only way to stop this wrong behaviour with animals is DO Not Go, They are outdated now, we do not need them, STOP.

  • SARAH FULLER commented on June 18, 2016 at 11:58 am

    no more wild animals used in this way dec 2015 It should have happen in THE UK but still they are used. Come on you MP’S DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS ASAP.

  • Emma Wild commented on June 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Delighted this issue is eventually being debated and hopefully banned for good! No place in a civilised society for animals to be performing tricks for human pleasure in this way ! The mental and physical abuse many are subjected to in a bid to break their natural spirits is well documented and it would be totally unforgivable to ignore their misery when you have the power to stop it! Thank you !

  • Sandra Watkins commented on June 18, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Stop this cruel treatment towards animals in circuses and ban it asap. Let them go to live happy lives as they should. Only monsters do these horrific things to animals.

  • Faith Hulce commented on June 18, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Using animals as entertainment is inhumane. Bans should be put in place & enforced immediately.

  • Wendy Harris commented on June 19, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Zoos with animals haven’t been allowed on sites in Leicester for several years – not missed! Catch up UK!

  • Colin Atkinson commented on June 19, 2016 at 6:22 am

    No. They’ve been banned in Sheffield for years. (Sheffield is in the UK.)

  • CHRIS commented on June 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm


  • Janet Stiles commented on June 20, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    There are many good acts performed in circuses by talented people, who don’t need to use animals. Wild animals belong in the wild, not in a circus ring. End the cruelty. Scotland can be the leading light.

  • Barbara Stewart commented on June 20, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Please stop the abusive use of animals in Circuses, that is not what they are for. They should be viewed in their natural habitat in person or via documentaries.

  • sara ramundo commented on June 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    There is not love without respect.
    Animal freedom means respect for Life.

  • Gabrielle Mullan commented on June 27, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Please stop using animals for low brow entertainment. It is as degrading for humans as for animals to continue to subsume animals’ rights just for the sake of a few cheap laughs.

    Yours faithfully,

    Gabrielle Mullan

  • Gwen commented on June 29, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Wonderful news that Scotland is helping to stop the exploitation of elephants. Love you, Scotland!

  • Muriel Servaege commented on June 30, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    GREAT NEWS. Thank you, Scotland.

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