Joyce calls for Wales ban on wild animals in circuses

Assembly Member Joyce Watson has called for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses operating in Wales.

Last month (14 December), rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths announced her intention to introduce a Welsh licencing scheme for Mobile Animal Exhibits, including circuses. Since then, Scotland has banned the practice and the UK government says England will follow suit. At the Senedd today, Mrs Watson called for an ban in Wales too.

At First Minister’s question time, the Labour Mid and West AM said:

“I urge the Government to send a crystal clear message to travelling circuses, because we don’t have any resident circuses in Wales: if they have wild animals on board, they are not welcome in Wales. It’s an outdated practice that needs to be stopped.”

Carwyn Jones replied:

“It’s clear, following the recent consultation on licensing of mobile animal exhibits, that there’s widespread support for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, and officials are considering how to address this issue. It goes without saying that the way that we treat our animals is an important reflection of the values of our society. The consultation closed on 9 October, and I know that the Minister is actively considering now the best way forward.”

Mr Jones confirmed that the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs will issue a written statement on mobile animal exhibits before the spring half term recess (Monday 26 March 2018).