Scotland Bans Use of Wild Animals in Circuses

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Scotland has passed a bill that bans the use of wild animals in its circuses. This is the first legislation of its kind to pass in the United Kingdom, according to the BBC. But the ban is only in place for circuses on the move—not performances that are “static.”

Naturally, those involved in Scottish circuses are not too stoked on the deal as they fear it will lead to the banishment of animals in all circuses. One circus head warned a ban of that caliber could lead to the shuttering of zoos.

While Scotland does not currently have any traveling circuses, 95% of respondents were in favor of putting the ban in place. The hope is other countries will see the bill’s passing and follow suit. Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham noted that many traveling productions do not visit the country but the bill was moved forward on “ethical grounds.”

Following Scotland’s lead, Ireland will impose a ban on the use of wild animals in any type of circus in the Republic on January 1, 2018.