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Poll: Majority back Kevin Stewart's call for animal circus ban in poll

Poll: Majority back Kevin Stewart's call for animal circus ban in poll

Almost two-thirds of respondents to a special STV poll have called for circuses to be banned from using wild animals.

The discovery of five big cats being kept in cages at a farm near St Combs in Fraserburgh hit the headlines earlier this week.

Aberdeen MSP Kevin Stewart tabled a motion calling for the ban.

Our poll found 65% of 211 voters were in favour of a ban, while 35% disagreed with the proposal.

The arrival of the wild cats from a circus in England - the first wild circus animals to be seen in the country for years - has clearly provoked strong emotions.

Mr Stewart's motion has been welcomed by Animal Defenders International (ADI) which has campaigned for a UK-wide ban for many years.

ADI president Jan Creamer, who is currently leading a mission to rescue big cats and other wild animals from circuses in South America, said: “We applaud efforts by Kevin Stewart to ban circuses from using wild animals in Scotland.

"Without action from government, the arrival of big cats in Aberdeenshire could be the first of many, making Scotland a destination for circus suffering that it has not been for years. We can’t let that happen.”

They also provided us with this list of legislation affecting animals and circuses elsewhere in the world.

Our poll provoked strong comments from many of those who took part.

Some were incredulous that circuses were employing "lion tamers."

Others demanded action to prevent circuses from continuing to keep lions and tigers in captivity.

Although there was a significant "No" vote in the poll, few of these respondents gave any indication why they supported the perpetuation of animals in circuses.

This was one of the few responses which we received.

Mr Stewart, meanwhile, is pressing ahead with his campaign to end the current situation and the SNP member is seeking cross-party support at Holyrood.

STV has made attempts to contact the circus, but it has so far declined to respond.

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