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Summary

  1. The Social Security Committee takes evidence on the Social Security Bill from charities
  2. Nicola Sturgeon is quizzed by opposition party leaders and MSPs during first minister's questions
  3. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay delivers a ministerial statement on Air Departure Tax
  4. The Scottish government delivers a ministerial statement on Scottish City Region Deals
  5. MSPs debate the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses Bill before voting on its general principles at decision time

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from Holyrood Live....

Holyrood
PA

That brings our coverage of the Scottish Parliament on 5 October 2017 to a close.

The Parliament is now in recess and we will be back on Tuesday 24 October 2017.

We will see you then.

MSPs back general principles of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill

Elephant
bbc

MSPs unanimously back the general principles of the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill.

Minister says ethical arguments for a ban are valid

Lion
bbc

Ms Cunningham says the use of the word circus is in legislation already in the UK.

The environment minister says ethical arguments are better than welfare arguments because they veer across the board.

She says the ethical arguments for a ban are valid.

Taxonomy not straightforward says minister

Roseanna Cunningham
BBC

Ms Cunningham says she is advised that taxonomy is not straightforward and that people make a career out of the scientific research in it.

The environment secretary says if an animal is not on the list then it may lead to that animal being used.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell intervenes to ask if the government could work with those working in taxonomy to create a list.

Ms Cunningham says there could be a list with every wild animal on it but there will always be some that "we are not aware of".

Minister defends the definitions in the legislation

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
bbc
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham says this is a simple focused Bill.

Ms Cunningham says the legislation will not interfere with the ownership, keeping or transport of wild animals in a travelling circus, so long as the animals are not performing or being displayed.

She says there is a strong and clear mandate for the ban of wild animals performing in a travelling circus.

Ms Cunningham defends the definitions in the Bill.

'This current draft would be a paradise for lawyers'

Tiger
BBC

Mr Carson says a cohesive and well-balanced piece of legislation would make more sense.

"This current draft would be a paradise for lawyers," he says.

The Tory MSP says the vague nature of the definition on wild animals does not help the Bill and he would join others in calling for a list to be included.

'Why the rush?'

Tory MSP Finlay Carson
bbc
Tory MSP Finlay Carson

Tory MSP Finlay Carson says his party supports the general principles of the Bill and the proposed ban.

Mr Carson says he hopes the government will take on board the concerns expressed about the legislation.

He asks: "Why the rush?"

As no travelling circuses with wild animals have been in Scotland for quite some time he asks why there was a need push this through so quickly.

Labour supports the principles of the Bill

Camel in circus
BBC

Ms Beamish says a list of animals, at least in secondary legislation, which can be amended as time goes on would be beneficial.

The Labour MSP says her party supports the principles of the Bill.

'We should all work together to sharpen this Bill'

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish
bbc
Labour MSP Claudia Beamish

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish says: "We should all work together to sharpen this Bill."

Ms Beamish says banning the use of wild animals in travelling circuses is progressive.

SNP MSP commends unanimity on the principles of this Bill

SNP MSP Kate Forbes
BBC

SNP MSP Kate Forbes says there continues to be unanimity on the principles of this Bill.

Ms Forbes says the government conducted a public consultation on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in early 2014.

The SNP MSP says it is very important that this Bill will not affect those who do not keep wild animals and are not defined as circuses.

'The case for a ban is much easier to make on welfare grounds'

Tory MSP John Scott
bbc
Tory MSP John Scott

Tory MSP John Scott says there are no wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland now or in the forseeable future.

Mr Scott says the case for a ban is much easier to make on welfare grounds.

Enforcement powers in the Bill could go further.

SNP MSP Angus MacDonald
BBC

SNP MSP Angus MacDonald says in March 2012 the UK government said it would bring forward legislation banning wild animals in circuses but so far no Bill has been forthcoming.

Mr MacDonald says the committee is of the view that enforcement powers in the Bill could go further.

The SNP MSP says the minister told the committee that ministers can appoint their own inspectors if local authorities are not enforcing the legislation.

There is room and considerable scope for improvement to the Bill say Lib Dem MSP

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur
bbc
Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur

Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says his party will gladly support the general principles of the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill this evening.

Mr McArthur says there is room and considerable scope for improvement.

Like many before him, Mr McArthur calls for better definitions in the legislation.

He says: "We are opening up a paradise for lawyers".

Background: What's wrong with entertainment?

Rona Brown from the Circus Guild of Great Britain
bbc
Rona Brown from the Circus Guild of Great Britain

In June Rona Brown from the Circus Guild of Great Britain, on behalf of Peter Jolly's Circus and the European Circus Association told the Environment Committee "we know right from wrong".

Ms Brown says bad people are nasty all round but Peter Jolly Circus has been operating for some time and the family are involved in the business.

She says "their beloved animals" are what they live for.

Ms Brown says if you ban wild animals in circuses in Scotland it will "create a domino affect".

"What's wrong with entertainment?" She asks, adding that if the inspections prove that the animals are being treated well then "why not?"

The Bill causes a bit of a headache by its poor drafting

Green MSP Mark Ruskell
BBC

Green MSP Mark Ruskell says banning wild animals in circuses is absolutely the right thing to do and his party will back the Bill at stage one.

Mr Ruskell says it is long needed and long overdue.

The Green MSP says the Bill causes a bit of a headache by its poor drafting.

He says the lack of definition of a circus is concerning.

Send in the clowns...........

'The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated'

Mahatma Gandhi is quoted by Labour MSP Colin Smyth
bbc
Mahatma Gandhi is quoted by Labour MSP Colin Smyth

Labour MSP Colin Smyth says this week would have been the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi why famously said: "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Mr Smyth says this Bill is a positive step in relegating animal cruelty in circuses to the history books.

He calls for a definition of which animals are being targeted in the Bill.

Wild animals being kept in captivity and being used in travelling circuses no longer tasteful

SNP MSP Clare Adamson
BBC

SNP MSP Clare Adamson says values have changed and wild animals being kept in captivity and being used in travelling circuses no longer meets the tastes of society.

Ms Adamson says wild animals are wild and should be considered as such.

Background: Lion tamer Thomas Chipperfield defends animal show

Thomas Chipperfield is understood to be the last lion tamer in Britain
Anthony Beckwith
Thomas Chipperfield is understood to be the last lion tamer in Britain

In 2015 our colleagues in Wales reported that the man behind an animal show featuring performing lions and tigers denied his animals suffer in captivity.

Animal welfare groups have called for Thomas Chipperfield's show, An Evening with Lions and Tigers, to be banned.

Checks are made on the animals kept by Thomas Chipperfield
Thomas Chipperfield
Checks are made on the animals kept by Thomas Chipperfield

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales' Jason Mohammad programme, Mr Chipperfield said all relevant animal welfare licences are in place and the animals are checked by vets.

"There's no scientific evidence whatsoever to support that claim (of animals suffering)," he said.

"The amount of studies that have been done with regards to the use of animals in live entertainment and zoos... the results always come back overwhelmingly in favour."

But animal welfare groups want the show stopped.

Adam Roberts, chief executive of the Born Free Foundation, said: "In the last two years, the big cats in question have been hauled around the whole of the UK and Ireland for the sole purpose of performing outdated circus tricks for paying audiences."

Read more here.

Bill is poorly drafted and lacks a definition of circus

Tory MSP Peter Chapman
BBC

Tory MSP Peter Chapman says that because this Bill refers to wild animals, for once he does not have to declare an interest.

Although sometimes when he's on his farm dealing with cows he wonders if he would be better off keeping a lion.

Mr Chapman says he welcomes the Bill but questions why it is being pushed through now because wild animals have not been seen at circuses for many years and are unlikely to be in the near future.

The Tory MSP says this Bill is poorly drafted and he is concerned by the lack of definition of circus.

'19 countries have banned it so it is time for Scotland to lead the way in the UK'

SNP MSP Emma Harper
BBC

SNP MSP Emma Harper says she supports the Scottish government's Bill.

Ms Harper highlights the ethical focus of this Bill.

The SNP MSP says there was a time when people were displayed in travelling circuses but there became a time when this was no longer acceptable therefore she gets the ethical element of this Bill.

"19 countries have banned it so it is time for Scotland to lead the way in the UK," she says

Background: The five freedoms

RSPCA five freedoms
RSPCA
RSPCA five freedoms

The RSPCA five freedoms.

Labour MSP calls for a definition of the word circus on the face of the Bill

Labour MSP David Stewart
bbc
Labour MSP David Stewart

Labour MSP David Stewart says he rises to speak in support of the general principles of the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill.

Mr Stewart says the five animal freedoms could not be met in a travelling circus.

He says council officers need to have a clear basis before initiating action against a circus.

Mr Stewart calls for a definition of the word circus on the face of the Bill.

He calls on the government to bring forward improvements to the legislation at Stage 2.

Consultation: 98% of respondents back the proposed ban of use of wild animals

The Scottish government consultation in 2014 showed 98% respondents thought the use of wild animals for performance in travelling circuses should be banned and 96.4% thought the use of wild animals for exhibition (without performing) should be banned.

Both aspects are covered in the bill, which makes Scotland the first country in the UK to introduce legislation outlawing wild-animal circuses.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham unveiled the bill, which as well as prohibiting the use of any wild animal in a travelling circus on ethical grounds, also includes the power to enter premises and vehicles in order to search for and examine animals.

Lions
bbc

Convener of the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee Graeme Dey MSP said: "We know that people feel very strongly about protecting wild animals in travelling circuses.

"In Scotland, the use of animals in circuses as a form of entertainment is somewhat of a rarity. In fact, such a travelling circus hasn't visited Scotland for many years.

"However, if this bill is passed, it will make it an offence for circus operators to use wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland."

Tory MSPs says the Bill needs much improvement

Tory MSP Donald Cameron
bbc
Tory MSP Donald Cameron

Tory MSP Donald Cameron says his party back the general principles of the Bill.

Mr Cameron says his party is committed to the highest standards of animal welfare.

The Tory MSP says the government response to the committee report only arrived this morning and he says he did not have time to read the 14 page letter.

He says his party supports a ban on the use of wild animals in a travelling circus, albeit there is no evidence of such a circus travelling in Scotland at this time.

The Tory MSPs says the Bill needs much improvement.

SNP MSP says Environment Committee backs the aimof the Bill

Mr Dey
bbc

Mr Dey says the committee felt the decision to use ethical reasons in the Bill has not been well utilised and the animal welfare route would have been preferred.

Ms Cunningham says this would have delayed the legislation by years.

Mr Dey says the committee backs the aims of the Bill.

Background: Scots ban on wild circus animals 'could close zoos'

Martin Burton
Scottish Parliament
Martin Burton said an "ethical" ban would lead to zoos being shut down

A ban on using wild animals in travelling circuses could eventually lead to zoos in Scotland being closed down, a circus leader has told MSPs.

A Bill is being considered to bolster animal protection by barring any use of wild animals in travelling shows.

Martin Burton of the Association of Circus Proprietors told MSPs that a law based on the proposed ethical grounds "will eventually close your zoos".

A government consultation found widespread support for a formal ban.

The Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill would be the first of its kind in the UK, and is aimed at banning the use of non-domesticated animals for either performance or exhibition.

Holyrood's environment committee took evidence from a range of animal welfare and circus industry groups.

Committee recommends a definition of circus to be included in the Bill

Environment and Climate Change Committee convener Graeme Dey
BBC

Environment and Climate Change Committee convener Graeme Dey says he welcomes Ms Cunningham's willingness to consider an amendment.

Mr Dey says "perhaps the elephant in the room", and that may not be the last pun, is the lack of definition of a circus.

He says lack of this may result in the Bill applying to other enterprises which would be unintended.

Mr Dey says the committee recommends a definition of circus to be included in the Bill.

Definition of domesticated and wild animal could be improved says committee

Stage 1 Report on the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill
Scottish Parliament
Stage 1 Report on the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill

The Environment Committee produced a Stage 1 Report on the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill.

Convener Graham Dey says there are concerns around the definition of wild animals.

Mr Dey says the committee believes the definition could be made clearer as could the definition of domesticated.

Background: Trainer says they do not scold or hit their animals

An Evening With Lions and Tigers proprietor Anthony Beckwith
bbc
An Evening With Lions and Tigers proprietor Anthony Beckwith

in June An Evening With Lions and Tigers proprietor Anthony Beckwith said his organisation do not scold or hit their animals but use praise and reward instead.

Mr Beckwith says they film all their training and it is available to view on their Facebook page.

Government to continue to engage with stakeholders on Bill

Ms Cunningham says she does not believe that including a definitive list of animals in the Bill would be proportionate.

The environment secretary says her officials will continue to engage with stakeholder to draft the Bill.

She says this Bill seeks to stop a singular practice that is morally objectionable.

The use of wild animals is unique says minister

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
bbc
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham says the use of wild animals is unique amongst all other uses.

Ms Cunningham says it raises ethical questions in three areas.

She says wild animals can be used in static circuses or in zoos.

The minister says the Environment Committee's report is concerned about the definition of a wild animal.

She says this is quite clear in the Bill.

Background: Academic says the use of wild animals in the circus is disrespectful

Dr Dorothy McKeegan
bbc
Dr Dorothy McKeegan

In June Dr Dorothy McKeegan from the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow told the Environment Committee arguments in the bill are valid.

Dr McKeegan said the use of wild animals in the circus is disrespectful.

She said there is a welfare argument not an ethical argument about the impact of travel on wild animals.

Dr McKeegan said the argument that the benefit is greater than the costs is difficult to argue in the context of wild animals travelling with circuses.

She says all three reasons are valid, with the costs and benefit argument being the strongest.

There are three main welfare concerns

Roseanna Cunningham
BBC

Ms Cunningham says welfare evidence varies greatly as to the type of circus animal.

The environment secretary says there are three main welfare concerns:

  • the impact on respect for animals and the
  • the impact on animals in a travelling circus
  • the balance between ethical costs and benefits

Background: Call for ban on use of wild animals in travelling circuses

Lions
Getty Images

In May we reported MSPs on the Environment Committee would begin studying plans to ban circuses from using wild animals.

MSPs examined legislation to ban circuses from using any non-domesticated animal.

Following a government consultation, the committee will scrutinise the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill would make it an offence to use wild animals in travelling circuses.

The Scottish government announced the crackdown in 2016 as part of its legislative programme following a public consultation which overwhelmingly supported a ban.

Bill will prevent any wild animal to be used in travelling circuses in Scotland

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
bbc
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham says the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses Bill will quite simply cause or prevent any wild animal to be used in travelling circuses in Scotland.