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MSPs back ban on wild animals in circuses
"The use of wild animals in this way is emblematic of the way we treat all animals."
Bill passes first stage with unanimous vote

Scottish legislation to ban the use of wild animals in circuses has received unanimous backing from MSPs at Holyrood.

The Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill would make it an offence for circus operators to cause or permit wild animals to be used in travelling circuses in Scotland.

Roseanna Cunningham, cabinet secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, led a debate on stage 1 of the legislation. MSPs voted in support of the bill’s general principles, but many called for it to be strengthened.

BVA’s Scottish branch president Melissa Donald welcomed the move.

In a statement she said: “This is an issue that BVA has long campaigned on and, while it may not affect a great number of individual animals, the use of wild animals in this way is emblematic of the way we treat all animals.
“Scotland is already leading the way on so many animal health and welfare initiatives and this important, cross-party vote shows Scottish Government making good on its promises to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses. The first country in the UK to take steps do so.”

It will now pass to stage 2 for detailed consideration and amendments in committee. It will then return to full parliament for final amendments and approval.

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Campaign highlights ‘devastating impact’ of smoking around pets

News Story 1
 Leading vet charity PDSA has launched a campaign highlighting the ‘devastating impact’ that smoking can have on pets. The launch coincides with National No Smoking Day (14 March 2018) and aims to raise awareness of the risks of passive smoking and how to keep pets safe.

“Recent studies highlight that this is a really serious issue, and we want pet owners to know that they can make a real difference by simply choosing to smoke outdoors away from their pets,” said PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan. “We want pet owners to realise that, if they smoke, their pets smoke too.”  

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News Shorts
AWF named charity of the year

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) has been chosen as charity of the year by the Veterinary Marketing Association (VMA). AWF is a vet-led charity, supported by the BVA, which aims to improve animal welfare though research funding, supporting veterinary education, providing pet care advice and encouraging debate on welfare issues.

VMA has pledged a range of support, including raising awareness and funds at their awards ceremony, which takes place on Friday 16 March, as well as offering marketing support through VMA marketing workshops.