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Details of the regulations for circuses moving between European Union member states.

Commission Regulation 1739/2005 (external link) applies to the movement of circus animals and animal acts between European Union (EU) Member States.  The Regulation was introduced to make travelling between EU Member States for circuses with animals and animal acts more straight forward by having one uniform set of rules rather than having differing rules in each Member State. Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is responsible for administering the conditions of this Regulation Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government.

The Regulation applies to animals whose primary purpose is for public exhibition and entertainment.  The species covered are all mammals (including bats), birds, bees, salmon and trout. This Regulation has been introduced into Welsh law through an amendment to the Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) (Wales) Regulations 2006. The amending Regulations are the Animals and Animal Products (Import and Export) (Wales) (Laboratories, Circuses and Avian Quarantine) Regulations 2007 (external link) which came into force on 1 July 2007.

If a circus or animal act meets the criteria described above, in brief, the Commission Regulation 1739/2005 requires that:

  • the circus or animal act is registered with the Competent Authority in the country in which it has its legal residence or in the Member State in which it is situated. Competent Authority in this context means the government body that has jurisdiction regarding the implementation of Commission Regulation 1739/2005. In Great Britain, this means being registered with APHA
  • the documentation issued upon registration (a Register booklet, containing a Register of Animals and a Venue Register) is kept up to date and held for a minimum of 5 years
  • animals in the circus or animal act have passports (except dogs, cats, horses & ferrets, who require passports but under other legislation)
  • animals in the circus/animal act are testing and vaccinated as per the requirements in the circus and animal act passports
  • animals registered as being part of the circus/animal act are kept away from unregistered animals
  • at least 10 working days prior to travel, the registered circus/animal act applies to the Competent Authority in which they are currently residing for an Intra Trade Animal Health Certificate. This will permit travel to another Member State. For GB resident circus/animal acts this would be done by completing a Traces EXA application form, which can be obtained by contacting your local APHA office
  • at least 48 hours prior to any intended movement to another Member State, the circus/animal act informs the Competent Authority in the Member State of departure of their actual movement date. For GB resident circus/animal acts a form is provided for this purpose.

If you need to register your circus or animal act in line with this Regulation, please contact APHA via the address/telephone number below:

Animal Health
Ceres House
2 Searby Road

Telephone No: 01522 529951


APHA makes charges for its service in registering your circus or animal act. You will also be required to pay for circus and animal act passports.

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