Should Scotland ban wild animals in travelling circuses?


Is it ethically wrong to use wild animals in travelling circuses? This is one of the questions a Holyrood Committee will ask as it looks into animal welfare legislation.

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee will consider legislation that would ban the use of any non-domesticated animal travelling and performing in circuses. 

Following a government consultation, which was heavily in favour of the proposed ban, the Committee will now scrutinise the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill over the coming weeks. 

Convener of the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee Graeme Dey MSP said:  

“We know that people feel very strongly about protecting wild animals in travelling circuses.

 “In Scotland, the use of animals in circuses as a form of entertainment is somewhat of a rarity. In fact, such a travelling circus hasn’t visited Scotland for many years. 

“However, if this Bill is passed, it will make it an offence for circus operators to use wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland. 

“What the Committee wants to know is whether the Scottish public think this is the best way to protect wild animals."

If brought into law, it would be an offence for a circus operator – or person with overall responsibility for a circus – to use wild animals as part of a travelling circus. The Bill also includes the power to enter premises and vehicles in order to search for and examine animals. 


The deadline for responses is 9 June 2017. Find out more about the Committee’s work here.



Contact information

Media information

Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
  • [email protected]
  • Text 07786 209 888
  • Ask a question online through live chat
  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

Keep up to date with us on:

keep up to date with what's happening in Parliament on Facebook Follow the Scottish Parliament on Twitter @ScotParl keep up to date with what's 
happening in Parliament on YouTube

This website is using cookies.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.