Ross McCall: For the Sake of Animals, the Show Most Certainly Must Not Go On
Scotland is considering introducing a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. In April, we asked thousands of our supporters to respond to a government consultation about the ban, and now Ross McCall is adding his voice to the call.
The Scottish-born Hollywood actor, who starred in Band of Brothers, wrote in last week’s Herald, calling on Holyrood to ban wild animals in circuses permanently. An abbreviated version of his article is below.
No doubt about it, we Scots have a lot to be proud of and if the Government, which is considering a ban on wild animals in circuses, does the right thing, we’ll have another reason to feel good about our country.
West Hollywood, California, where I live and work, implemented a ban last year, joining Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, Greece, Mexico City, Peru, Sweden and Winnipeg, all of which no longer permit cruel animal acts.
Let’s hope Scotland is next.
As an actor, I’ve done my fair share of sitting around in trailers, waiting to be called on set, and I can tell you that it’s far from exciting.
Animals used in circuses spend most of their lives in trailers and often in chains. They are carted from one show to the next and denied their most fundamental needs, never having an opportunity to roam over large distances, socialise with their own kind, hunt, forage or make independent choices about how to go about their business.
This lifestyle causes them to suffer tremendously. I’ve seen what the pressures of the entertainment business can do to my fellow human actors, but wild animals that are forced to perform under the threat of punishment often become depressed and sick and also develop neurotic types of behaviour from the stress and abuse.
Fortunately, it’s been years since any circus tried to foist beaten-down animals on the Scottish public, so it should be easy for our Government to make it official by permanently banning animal circuses in Scotland, without fuss or loss of livelihood.
And, in the meantime, we can also do our bit to help these animals simply by refusing to give our money to any attraction that exploits animals for human entertainment, be it a circus, marine park or zoo. For the animals’ sake, the show must not go on.
Read Ross’s full article in The Herald.
The public consultation has now closed, but please join the PETA UK Action Team and we’ll keep you posted about further developments as we ask the Scottish government to bring about the ban.