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‘Relief’ as circus bill passes final reading
The bill will bring England into line with other parts of the UK, including Scotland and Ireland.
Wild animals to be banned in circuses from 2020 

A bill to ban wild animals in circuses in England has passed its final reading in the House of Lords. It is likely to come into force in January 2020, after receiving royal assent.

Environment secretary Michael Gove confirmed the ban in May this year, seven years after the government first announced its intention to ban wild animals in travelling circuses.

Dr Ros Clubb, senior scientific manager at the RSPCA, said the charity is “absolutely delighted and hugely relieved” by the news.

She added: “The RSPCA has campaigned for decades for this practice to be outlawed, highlighting how the welfare of wild animals based in such settings is likely to be heavily compromised. The transient nature of circuses - alongside cramped accommodation and forced training for animals - highlights how inappropriate they are for wild animals.

“Wild animals like zebras, camels, raccoons and reindeer have complex needs that can never be adequately met in a circus.  We believe their welfare is compromised with stressful, frequent journeys, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance. 

“We are glad the practice of using wild animals in circuses is to be consigned to the history books in England at long last.”

The bill will bring England into line with other parts of the UK, including Scotland and Ireland, which have already implemented bans. A bill was also recently introduced to the National Assembly for Wales.

 

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Zoo animals step on the scales for annual weigh-in

News Story 1
 Squirrel monkeys, penguins and meerkats are just some of the animals that stepped on the scales on Thursday (22 August) for the start of ZSL London Zoo’s annual weigh-in.

The annual event gives keepers a chance to check the animals in their care are healthy, eating well and growing at the correct weight. Keepers say that a growing waistline can also help them to detect pregnancies, which is vital as many of the species at the zoo are endangered.

The data is then added to a database shared with zoos and conservationists across the globe. This helps keepers to compare information and provide better care for the species they are fighting to protect.  

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News Shorts
Professor Abdul Rahman announced as keynote speaker for BVA Members’ Day 2019

Celebrated Indian vet and parasitologist Professor Abdul Rahman is set to deliver the keynote speech at BVA Members’ Day 2019.

Professor Rahman will present his insights into the human behaviour challenges of controlling zoonotic disease in his talk: ‘A One Health approach to rabies elimination in Asia’. The talk will outline efforts to gain political support for dog vaccination programmes in China, as well as the need for a collaborative approach between vets, public health, livestock and animal welfare agencies.

The event takes place on Thursday, 19 September at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. Tickets are free but must be reserved through the BVA website as places are limited.