Joyce speaks out to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Wales

A local AM has supported a new law to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Wales.

Joyce Watson AM spoke out during a Senedd debate on the Wild Animals and Circuses (Wales) Bill.

The Mid and West Wales Assembly Member supported the Bill, saying that she would like it to go further where possible.

Animal welfare campaigner Mrs Watson said:

“I cannot in any way call this a form of entertainment. For some people, possibly, it might be, but not for the animals. I don’t believe that any wild animal should be in a circus.

“That view is shared with the 74 per cent of people in Wales who supported that in a 2015 poll. There is a real strength of feeling here, and I am pleased that we are implementing what people have asked for.”

Mrs Watson also praised campaigners who have lobbied for this change for years, saying: “It’s never easy to feel like you’re a lone voice in trying to bring about change.”

She added that it was a testament to the work of the Assembly Petitions Committee, which allows the public to have their say on issues which concern them.

Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths thanked her, responding:

“Joyce Watson, I think you’re absolutely right about the Petitions Committee. If you think about the plastic bag ban, it’s brought forward some fantastic ideas and I do pay tribute, as a couple of people have mentioned, to Linda Joyce-Jones and other campaigners. Certainly, I know if you have a circus in your constituency the postbag increases with people who think we should be bringing forward a ban. Certainly, as Minister, I’ve received correspondence every time a circus comes into Wales.”

Mrs Watson has also campaigned on puppy farms and other animal welfare issues across Wales.