The Welsh Government is set to introduce a bill to prohibit the use of wild animals in travelling circuses, according to First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.
It will seek an extension to the UK Government’s draft legislation for an England ban – which will come into effect in 2020.
According to the Welsh Government: “The way animals are treated is an important reflection of society, and over the next 12 months, a bill will be introduced to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses on welfare grounds.”
Animal charities have welcomed the news. Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International [ADI], said: “We congratulate the Welsh Government for taking a stand to stop circus suffering in Wales and bringing a UK-wide ban one step closer.
“ADI has documented suffering and abuse in UK circuses for many years. Knowing that only a ban can protect them, we are delighted an end to the use of wild animals in circuses in Wales is finally within sight.”
Animal rights charity PETA added: “PETA is thrilled that the Welsh government is making a firm commitment to banning wild-animal circuses, an archaic and patently inhumane form of animal exploitation. Captivity is a living hell for animals such as tigers, zebras, and lions, and a circus environment can’t possibly meet their complex needs.
“They understandably become frustrated, stressed, and depressed from a lifetime of being denied everything that’s natural and important to them. They’re kept caged in trailers that are hauled around the country, and they’re forced to perform confusing tricks under the big top out of some Victorian-era idea of entertainment.
“The tide is turning against cruel wild-animal circuses – both Ireland and Scotland have introduced bans. England has also announced one, which is set to come into effect in 2020. This is welcome news, but the move is already long overdue, and animals suffering in circuses shouldn’t have to endure another two years of abuse.”