‘Days remaining’ for public to have voice heard on travelling animal shows

RSPCA Cymru is urging animal welfare supporters to back plans for new rules which would help protect animals in settings like falconry displays and mobile petting zoos.

Members of the public have “just days remaining” to urge the Welsh Government to bring forward new rules to protect animals in travelling shows.

A consultation considering whether to bring forward new regulations to protect animals in settings like falconry displays, mobile petting zoos and Christmas reindeer comes to a close on Sunday (October 8).

Members of the public can have their say, and respond to the Welsh Government’s consultation, via the RSPCA’s website.

Plans could see the travelling shows – sometimes known as Mobile Animal Exhibits (MAEs) – requiring a licence to operate, or needing to formally register.

RSPCA Cymru say this could offer “much-needed protection” to these animals, and end the “void of information” which currently exists about the numbers of touring display animals across Wales.

Dr Ros Clubb, RSPCA’s senior scientific manager, specialising in captive wild animals, said: “We know that every week, animals travel across Wales in exhibits such as petting zoos, educational settings, or for entertainment.

“These animals often lead very distinct and challenging lives – but there’s a void of information about how many animals spend their lives in such settings.

“We’re calling on animal lovers across Wales to have their say, and ensure they tell the Welsh Government that better protection for animals in these traveling shows deserves a big thumbs up. There’s just days remaining to do so.

“New rules concerning the licensing of these travelling animal shows would, if properly enforced, offer much-needed protection to many animals across the country, and offer important assurances to the public about welfare standards.”

RSPCA Cymru believes wild animals in circus settings amount to the sort of travelling animal show where the needs of animals cannot be met. It is hoped new rules pertaining to mobile animal exhibits will bring a long overdue end to the sight of wild animals being carted across Wales in circuses.

Dr Clubb added: “Wild animals do not belong in the circus. The transient nature, cramped accommodation and forced training highlights how their welfare simply cannot be met in such settings. It’s time the out-dated spectre of wild animals being dragged across Wales in travelling circuses is brought to an end, and we hope action from the Welsh Government on Mobile Animal Exhibits will help achieve just that.”

Should you wish to help the RSPCA, you can donate to us online. We are a charity and rely on public donations.

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