Scotland’s Wild-Animal Circus Ban Comes Into Effect This Week
Scotland’s ban on wild-animal circuses came into effect on Monday, 28 May, making it the first country in the UK to outlaw these cruel exhibits. MSPs voted unanimously to introduce the ban in December 2017, following a sustained campaign by PETA and other animal-protection groups.
The results of a public consultation published in 2015 showed that an overwhelming 98 per cent of respondents in Scotland supported a ban on wild-animal circuses. Following this consultation, over 13,000 PETA supporters contacted the Scottish Government, asking it to follow through by introducing a ban as soon as possible. After a bill was finally introduced into the Scottish Parliament in 2017, PETA supporters sent a further 8,000 e-mails to MSPs urging them to get behind it.
Captivity is a living hell for animals such as tigers and lions, and a circus environment can’t possibly meet their complex needs. They understandably become frustrated, stressed, and depressed from a lifetime of being denied everything that’s natural and important to them, kept caged in trailers that are hauled around the country, and forced to perform confusing tricks under the big top out of some Victorian-era idea of entertainment.
The tide is turning against cruel wild-animal circuses. Ireland introduced a ban last year, and the Welsh Government has stated that it’s looking into doing so. England has also announced a ban, which is set to come into effect in 2020. This is welcome news, but the move is already long overdue, and animals suffering in circuses shouldn’t have to endure another two years of cruelty.
What You Can Do
Please contact the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, and urge him to introduce a ban immediately. For animals’ sake, the show must not go on.