In the bear-pit

IT would be a pity if ­Westminster created laws banning the use of wild animals in travelling circuses before the Scottish ­Government did the same (“Scotland ‘a magnet for ­circuses using wild animals’”, your ­report, 17 October).

Indeed, the Scottish Government should go further and ban the use of all animals in travelling circuses.

I have seen bears and ­elephants driven mad through living their lives in the cramped and totally unsuitable conditions forced upon them by the logistics of living on the road and moving from venue to venue.

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I’ve also seen a troupe of performing dogs for whom “home” was cages in the back of a windowless van. Domestic animals also need liberated from the constraints of travelling ­circuses.

If our MSPs wanted to they could amend existing animal welfare laws or create new legislation in a matter of weeks.

Animals released from imprisonment in travelling circuses could be found homes in zoos, safari parks and a few specialist animal sanctuaries. This would be a far better role for zoos than trying to increase their profits by gambling on the great ­Chinese propaganda panda ­procurement programme.

John F Robins

Animal Concern Advice Line