(BVA Release) The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has strongly welcomed the announcement that the use of wild animals in travelling circuses will soon be banned.
A draft Bill to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in England was published today (Tuesday). The proposals will come into effect on 1 December 2015.
Commenting, BVA President Peter Jones said:
“There is no place in today’s society for wild animals to be used for our entertainment and we are absolutely delighted that the Government has published a draft Bill which will make it illegal to use wild animals in circus performances.
“The BVA has strongly supported a ban because we believe 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, we have for some time been urging the Government to do all it can to introduce a complete ban as quickly as possible.”
Although it only affects a small number of animals – currently there are twenty wild animals performing in two licensed circuses in England – this is an issue that has been increasingly shaped by consumer attitudes to animal welfare.
Mr Jones added:
“Once we have studied the detail of the Bill we will be consulting our members on the definitions and proposals to ensure that we can help to develop appropriate and robust legislation.
“The welfare of these animals is emblematic of the way we treat all animals and I am heartened that we will soon see the end of the exploitation of these animals in the confines of a circus.”