The BVA has thrown its support behind a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses after governments in Wales and Scotland both signalled interest in proposing legislation.
The BVA has strongly supported a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses after governments in Wales and Scotland both signalled interest in proposing legislation.
However, the association is also calling on the remaining UK devolved administrations to introduce a ban as well, despite being “optimistic” that primary legislation would soon be introduced in England.
“I have written to the ministers in the devolved nations urging them to introduce legislation to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses, either in conjunction with, or independently of, DEFRA as soon as legislative timetable allows,” said BVA president Peter Jones.
“The welfare of these animals is emblematic of the way we treat all animals and we can see great merit in UK-wide legislation to ban this unethical practice without further delay.”
In March (2012), DEFRA confirmed its intention to ban the use of performing wild animals in circuses and that a draft bill to achieve the ban was being worked on. However, as an interim measure, the Government has introduced what it calls a “tough” licensing scheme that “ensures the welfare of wild animals”.
The BVA insists, however, that licensing is not adequate.
Mr Jones added: “The welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within the environment of a travelling circus, especially in terms of accommodation and the ability to express normal behaviour.
“We have been adamant that a licensing scheme will not address these issues. Together with the Born Free Foundation, Captive Animals’ Protection Society and the RSPCA, the BVA has for some time been urging the Government to do all it can to introduce a complete ban as quickly as possible.”