A ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Wales is one step closer to coming into force – after completing stage two of its legislative proceedings yesterday.
Travelling circus life severely compromises welfare for wild animals - and the law will outlaw the use of wild animals in this environment; with Wales set to join 45 other countries globally who have taken action. The RSPCA has campaigned for decades for such a ban to be implemented in Wales.
RSPCA Cymru had also worked closely with Members of the Senedd on a series of amendments they hoped would improve the Bill yet further - but these did not receive majority support during stage two proceedings today.
The animal welfare charity is eager to see further improvements to the proposed law - including those that would deliver a full ban on wild animals travelling with a circus, close loopholes, implement the ban sooner and extend punishment provisions.
As drafted, the law is due to come into force on 1 December 2020.
However – while hoping some improvements will still be implemented into the law – the RSPCA has also heralded today as an “important day” for animals, with the much-anticipated ban “one step closer to reality”.
Chris O’Brien, RSPCA public affairs and media manager, said: “With stage two consideration complete, a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses is one big step closer.
“Travelling circus life is wholly inappropriate for wild animals – so this ban is so important for Wales. Confinement, stressful transportation, forced training and abnormal social groupings are all a grim reality for the animals involved.
“While the legislation is very welcome, we are eager to secure further improvements to the Bill - and worked closely with Members of the Senedd to get key amendments tabled; including those that would close loopholes, ensure a full ban, and bring this law into force more quickly. We’re really grateful to those who supported these calls.
“The RSPCA is disappointed these amendments weren’t successful - but will continue to work hard in the hope of further improving this important law; as Wales gets ever-nearer to bidding farewell to the out-dated spectre of wild animals being used in travelling circuses.
“Clearly, this was an important day for animals; with this ban one step closer to reality. We can’t wait to see the use of wild animals in travelling circuses consigned to the history books in Wales - once and for all.”
Nathan is the Operations Director and one half of Vale Breakfast on Bro Radio. You'll hear him reading local news, hosting at local events and presenting our facebook live videos.