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Wild animals in travelling circuses

Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Act 2018

The issue of wild animals in travelling circuses has been a source of longstanding unease to many.  Between January and April 2014, the Scottish Government ran a public consultation on whether the use of wild animals in travelling circuses should be banned in Scotland.  A total of 2043 responses were received.  The response was overwhelmingly in favour of a ban, with, amongst other findings, 95.8% respondents of the view that there are no benefits to having wild animals in travelling circuses and 95.7% of respondents of the view that the concerns surrounding the travelling circus environment could only be resolved by banning wild animals in travelling circuses.

In light of this, the First Minister announced in September 2016 that a Bill to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland would be included in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government for 2016/17.  The Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 10 May 2017, was passed on 20 December 2017, and the Act came into full effect on 28 May 2018.

You can find a copy of the Act at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2018/3/contents, and Guidance to the Act at https://beta.gov.scot/publications/guidance-wild-animals-travelling-circuses-scotland-act-2018/pages/1/

Supporting information

You can access the original consultation at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/01/5291 and view the consultation analysis at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/06/1512.  The consultation responses are available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/06/6762

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee published it’s Stage 1 report on 22 September 2017.  You can access this at:  https://sp-bpr-en-prod-cdnep.azureedge.net/published/ECCLR/2017/9/22/Stage-1-Report-on-the-Wild-Animals-in-Travelling-Circuses--Scotland--Bill/ECCLRS052017R9.pdf.  You can view the Scottish Government’s response at: http://www.parliament.scot/S5_Environment/Inquiries/Circus_Bill_-_Stage_1_-__Stage_1_Report_SG_Response_-_RC_to_ECCLR_ctte.pdf

Accompanying documents are papers that are drafted and submitted to Parliament for scrutiny alongside the Bill itself.  Their role is to explain the background, justification and likely impact of the Bill:

Explanatory Notes are intended to help in the understanding of the Bill. http://www.parliament.scot/Wild%20Animals%20in%20Travelling%20Circuses%20(Scotland)%20Bill/SPBill12ENS052017.pdf

Policy Memorandum provides further information on why the Scottish Government has introduced this Bill. http://www.parliament.scot/S5_Bills/Wild%20Animals%20in%20Travelling%20Circuses%20(Scotland)%20Bill/SPBill12PMS052017.pdf

Financial Memorandum provides available information on the potential cost of the Bill. http://www.parliament.scot/Wild%20Animals%20in%20Travelling%20Circuses%20(Scotland)%20Bill/SPBill12FMS052017.pdf

Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) details the options that the Scottish Government considered, explores the possible impact on businesses and Scotland’s competiveness alongside the estimated costs and benefits of the proposed measures http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/05/2227

Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) details the potential impact on the privacy of any people that might be affected by the Bill: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/05/3045

Written evidence received by the Committee is available at: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/104958.aspx