Campaigners welcome SNP move to ban wild animals in travelling circuses

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“Well let’s hope this has more luck than the supposed ban on animals in circuses in England…which after several years of being promised is still no further on; pitiful & Lame! Scotland I hope you implement the new laws quickly & put England to shame!”

By:-Daniel Sanderson, Scottish Political Correspondent

The move follows concern over the treatment of animals exploited to entertain circus crowds

ANIMAL rights campaigners have welcomed a commitment to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland.

The move would deliver on an SNP manifesto commitment and follows a 2014 consultation in which 98 per cent of the public backed a ban.

That year, it emerged that two lions and three tigers were spending the winter in small cages in Aberdeenshire, leading ministers to commit to “look carefully” at introducing legislation.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman confirmed that it now “intends to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.” She added: “We are currently investigating the best mechanism for introducing legislation on ethical grounds and will make further announcements in due course.”

The Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity, said it was “delighted” with the pledge, which means Scotland is on course to become the first part of the UK to introduce a ban, although they are widespread across the world.

However, it said questions remained over the timescale and called for swift action. Chris Draper, programmes manager for captive wild animals, said: The Government in Westminster has promised a similar ban in England but has not proceeded with bringing in the already-written legislation. We would hate to see Scotland replicate the mistakes and delays that have occurred south of the border, and urge the Scottish Government to act swiftly to end the practice once and for all.”

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and its Scottish Branch also welcomed the announcement.

A spokesman said: “The welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus in terms of housing nor being able to express normal behaviour. While this specific issue may not affect a great number of individual animals in the UK, we nevertheless believe it is emblematic of the way we treat all animals under human care.

“We are pleased to see the new Scottish Government not only identifying opportunities to improve animal health and welfare in Scotland, but taking hold of these opportunities with both hands – and we would urge other UK Governments to follow their lead.”

News Link:-http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/14556767.Campaigners_welcome_SNP_move_to_ban_wild_animals_in_travelling_circuses/

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Man Forced To Shoot His Own Dog After Seal Attack In Scotland

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A CALL for a seal cull in one of Scotland’s nature reserves was made last night after a dog mauled by a seal had to be ­destroyed.

Matthew Will had to shoot his dog after it was attacked by a seal

• Dog owner forced to shoot pet after it was attacked by seal

Matthew Will said he had to shoot his black labrador, Fly, after it was severely injured by a bull seal in a stream on the Ythan estuary in Aberdeenshire.

Wild fowler Mr Will was shooting ducks when his three-year-old labrador ran into the water to retrieve a downed bird. Fly was dragged under the water and bitten by a seal more than twice the dog’s size.

It was the latest in a series of seal attacks on dogs at the estuary, which borders the Forvie National Nature Reserve, owned by Scottish Natural Heritage and home to more than 1,000 grey and common seals.

Last night, Audrey Forbes-Clarke, the fishery manager for the local Udny Trust, called for a licensed cull at the estuary to combat an “explosion” in seal numbers.

She warned it was only a matter of time before humans were attacked, declaring: “Children are paddling there in the ­summer and they will be fair game for the seals as well.”

Mr Will, 21, of Inverugie, ­Peterhead, had earlier spoken of his terror when his pet was attacked last Friday after it entered the Tarty Burn.

He said: “There was a sudden and terrific thrashing and howling in the water.

This huge seal – more than twice the size of the dog – was flinging Fly around and pulling him under the water. I was horrified. The seal was enormous. It was terrible.”

Mr Will finally succeeded in driving off the seal and dragged his badly mutilated pet to the bank.

“Fly was horribly injured. Both his hind legs were completely crushed and mangled, his rib-cage smashed and his left eye torn out. He was pouring with blood and in spasms of agony,” said Mr Will.

Grief-stricken, Mr Will decided to shoot Fly rather than prolong his suffering.

Mrs Forbes-Clarke said that she had put up warning signs about the risk of seal attacks earlier this year after a Labrador owned by a local hotelier was bitten by a seal. Another seal attacked two dogs owned by a local woman.

Mrs Forbes-Clarke said: “What worries me most is the human factor. One of our regular fishermen was chased out of the water by a seal earlier this year and he said he has never been so terrified in all his life.

She added that there had been an “explosion” in common and grey seal numbers in the ­estuary since the local coastal netting fishery, which had a license to shoot seals marauding their nets, was bought out.

“Every year the numbers are escalating because they are breeding and there is nothing and no-one to control them, and we desperately need a cull to control their numbers,” she said.

Callan Duck, a senior research scientist at the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrews University, said it was a “particularly unusual” incident.

He added: “Normally seals are not aggressive. I have never heard of anything like that at all. If I had a dog, I wouldn’t be worried about letting it go into the water if there were seals around. I would be more concerned about the dog scaring the seals.

News Link:-http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/top-stories/calls-for-seal-cull-after-aberdeen-man-s-dog-mauled-by-bull-seal-1-2566386

 

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