15 February 2018
The Born Free Foundation is delighted to hear reports that the Welsh Government has vowed to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.
The announcement, made by Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, comes after a period of uncertainty during which Welsh officials announced an intention to ban, but then appeared to backtrack, suggesting that travelling circuses with wild animals might, instead, be licensed.
After significant criticism from both expert organisations and members of the public as part of a consultation on the proposal to license circuses, Ms. Griffiths announced that: “I am exploring opportunities to bring forward legislation to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in Wales”.
Chris Draper, Head of Animal Welfare and Captivity at Born Free said: “We are delighted to hear that common sense and compassion seems to have prevailed, and that Wales may have dropped its ill-conceived plans to allow travelling circuses with wild animals to continue operating under licence. The promise to ban is fantastic news for animals, and yet leaves England and Northern Ireland looking increasingly out-of-touch with public opinion in their continued delay to take similar action. With Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland now having brought in, or promised, bans, it is time for England and Northern Ireland to close the door on this practice once-and-for-all across the UK and Ireland in its entirety”.
The campaign to ban wild animals in travelling circuses in Wales has been a success thanks to the hard work of a number of organisations – led by RSPCA Cymru – and supported by thousands of individuals from across the United Kingdom. Born Free would like to thank both our partners in this campaign and our supporters for their commitment to see an end to this archaic practice in Wales.