OneKind, Scotland’s animal campaigns charity, has welcomed today’s Stage 1 vote in support of the General Principles of the Bill, which will see the use of wild animals in travelling circuses banned in Scotland.
The Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill was proposed by Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP, who said in her opening remarks “that the use of wild animals in travelling circuses is morally objectionable to the people of Scotland.”
MSPs unanimously voted in support of the General Principles of the Bill at 4:30 today, however many also called for the Bill to be strengthened as it passes through the next stages in Parliament.
The Bill will now move onto Stage 2 for detailed consideration and amendments in Committee, and then return to the full Parliament for final amendments and approval.
OneKind Policy Advisor Libby Anderson said:
“After campaigning for so many years for an end to the suffering of wild animals in circuses, I’m delighted to see all political parties coming together in support of this Bill. However, as the debate made clear there are weaknesses in the Bill that must be addressed if we are to have a strong ban.”
Once the Bill is passed, it will make Scotland the first country in the UK to implement an outright ban on wild animals in circuses. Libby continued:
“Today is an important milestone. The Bill has passed its first hurdle, which means that it will go forward and a ban will happen. This will place Scotland firmly in the lead on this important ethical and animal welfare issue, and I very much hope that it also marks the beginning of a period of progress for animal welfare in Scotland more generally.”