BVA welcomes proposed ban on travelling circus animals

Animal Health/ Animal Health surgeon news

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has hailed the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra's) recent comments in support of a ban on wild animal use in travelling circuses.

Professor Bill Reilly, president of the BVA, stated that such measures were necessary due to the inability of travelling circuses to meet the needs of the animals in their charge.

This comes after Defra minister Jim Fitzpatrick said he was keen to pursue the ban following a consultation which showed that 94 per cent of more than 10,500 respondents agreed with the initiative.

Mr Fitzpatrick also highlighted the need to ensure that any animals are properly cared for after they stop performing rather than simply being destroyed.

Professor Reilly expressed delight at the minister's response to what he described as an "overwhelming call" for a ban.

He added that potential solutions for the long-term care for circus animals could include "re-homing to a zoo or sanctuary, living out the rest of its life with existing owners or other options that can meet its needs".

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