Posted: Tue 1st Dec 2020

Lengthy RSPCA campaign sees ban on wild animals used in Welsh travelling circuses

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Dec 1st, 2020

A ban on wild animals in travelling circuses will come into effect in Wales from today, 1 December, following a lengthy RSPCA campaign. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Under the Wild Animals and Circuses (Wales) Act it is now an offence for wild animals to be performed or exhibited in a travelling circus in Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

RSPCA Cymru has campaigned for years in order for this ban to come into force and Wales now joins 45 other countries, nations and states across the world who have acted upon the use of wild animals in the circus environment. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

They believe the travelling circus life is ‘totally unsuitable for wild animals’ due to the ‘cramped accommodation, unnatural social groups and forced training’. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Approximately 9,000 people penned an RSPCA Cymru petition calling for action and, according to them, 74 per cent of people have backed the ban. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

David Bowles, RSPCA Head of Public Affairs, said: “Clearly, this is an historic day for animal welfare in Wales – and concludes a campaign we have worked on for many, many years. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We’ve had overwhelming public support for this campaign and the voice of those supporters was so important in helping secure this legislation, which means the spectre of wild animals being performed or exhibited in travelling circuses in Wales is finally, once and for all, consigned to the history books – it’s a great advert for what we can achieve together for animal welfare. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“There was strong cross-party support for this campaign in the Senedd and we were pleased to work closely with the Welsh Government and Members of the Senedd too to give wild animals this vital extra protection in law. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“A ban sends an important statement about how Welsh society regards animals and that this country will not tolerate such out-dated, unnecessary practices. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Moving forward, we will continue to raise concerns on the inappropriate use of animals, such as supporting more than 3,000 members of the public that have already complained about the use of animals to Ofcom about the present ‘I’m a Celebrity’ series being filmed in Wales.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Ros Clubb, RSPCA Senior Scientific Manager, added: “The RSPCA has long been clear that there is no excuse for subjecting wild animals to the circus environment. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We know the impact these circuses have long had on wild animal welfare – forced training, unsuitable accommodation, difficult journeys and unnatural social groupings are all a grim reality for these animals, but thankfully this law will make all the difference in Wales.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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