Earlier this year, Kenneth Feld, the chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment which runs the world-famous Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, announced that “The Greatest Show on Earth” was shutting down after more than 100 years in business.
Feld cited low ticket sales before and after the circus eliminated its elephant act “coupled with high operating costs, made the circus an unsustainable business for the company.”
Since the news of the largest operating circus worldwide broke, it was assumed other companies would soon follow suit. Scotland is aiding some of these companies in collapsing their tents.
Animals’ rights in the U.K. took a giant leap forward this week when Scotland banned the use of “non-domesticated animals for performance or exhibition in traveling shows” throughout the country.
Consequently, there are no traveling circuses in Scotland and the ban doesn’t include static circuses, or in other words, circuses that have a home base and don’t travel like a carnival or fair.
The Scottish government found over 95-percent of survey respondents were in favor of the ban and the legislation was introduced on what is being called “purely ethical grounds.”
Despite the law not infringing on any circuses’ operation practices, Parliament called the law “a preventative measure based on ethical concerns.”
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the ban sends a message to the rest of the world that Scotland is at the forefront of opposing the misuse of wild animals.
“This is an important act that will not only prevent traveling circuses ever showing wild animals in Scotland in the future, but will demonstrate to the wider world that we are one of the growing number of countries that no longer condones the use of wild animals in this way,” she said.