Government jumps through hoops in bid to ban wild animals from circuses

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New new laws look set to be introduced that will see wild animals banned from performing in the circus in Scotland.

It follows a similar motion being passed by MPs in the Commons earlier this week.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said the SNP administration also looks set to act.

"The cabinet will considering this issue over the forthcoming legislative programme," she said yesterday.

David Cameron insisted he was "profoundly relaxed" over MPs' demands for a ban on wild animals in circuses.

The Prime Minister also defended his Downing Street team over claims they had "bullied" an MP into dropping the plans, insisting his staff were more like Mother Teresa than "slathering Rottweilers".

UK ministers were against a ban being brought in next year fearing it would leave the Government open to lawsuits from circus owners and workers.

But MPs have agreed to a ban which, while not binding on the coalition, heaped pressure on ministers to act.

Mr Cameron insisted government and backbenchers were "not a million miles away" from each other on the ban because it was "not right" to have wild circus animals in Britain in 2011.

He said the Government had "been through the hoops, walked the tightrope and possibly sent in the clowns as well" when asked about the row.

He said: "I thought we would be able to find a compromise where everyone would be able to support language that was more easily achievable. That wasn't possible so in the end the backbench motion went through unopposed. I'm profoundly relaxed about the whole thing."

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