The BVA has welcomed the Scottish Government’s move to enact legislation banning the use of wild animals in circuses.

A bill banning wild animals in travelling circuses will be introduced in Scotland in May 2017, for implementation in 2018.

Circus caravan
“The use of wild animals in circuses is emblematic of the way we treat animals,” said Grace Webster. Image: Jacques Palut / Fotolia.

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.”


She added: “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.”

BVA Scottish branch president Grace Webster added: “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.”

However, BVA officials expressed their “disappointment” on further Scottish Government legislation on dog welfare.

Call for shock collar ban

The decision to prohibit the sale and use of electric pulse, sonic and spray collars in Scotland, unless under the guidance of an approved trainer or vet, has been cautiously welcomed by the BVA; however, it says the new regulations do not go far enough and has called for a total ban.

The BVA also believes dog welfare in Scotland has received another setback with the overturn of the ban on tail docking for working dogs. Going forward, working spaniels and hunt point retrievers will be allowed to have one-third of their tail removed in an attempt to prevent tail damage later in life. Again, the BVA is calling for a total ban on docking.

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