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Section 25 — Prohibition on keeping certain animals
Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3
Mr Mark Ruskell (Green)
I welcome the Executive's intention to consult on the banning of wild animals in circuses, which was proposed in response to the genuine concerns that were voiced in the chamber at stage 1 and, indeed, in response to the amendment in my name at stage 2.
I do not believe that there is a place for wild animals in circuses and I do not believe that the majority of the public believes that either. It is impossible to cater for the needs of animals that have evolved on the plains of Africa—lions, tigers and elephants—in the cramped and unnatural conditions of a travelling circus. I recognise that the bill has a heavy subordinate legislation agenda attached to it, but at this stage I seek further assurances from the minister that a ban on wild animals in circuses will be in place for the next circus season. We do not want to get into a situation in which there is no ban in Scotland but there is one in England, with the result that disreputable circuses decide to come up to Scotland to hold their summer season here. I plead with the minister to offer us assurances on the progress of the subordinate legislation.
I move amendment 5.