Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment and Energy and Rural Affairs
Last October, I announced the launch of a public consultation on the draft Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Wales) Bill which aims to address ethical concerns by banning the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Wales. There are no circuses using wild animals based in Wales, however, they do visit and each time they do, there are renewed calls to ban the practice.
The consultation closed on 28 November 2018. Respondents were asked to consider 14 questions relating to the general policy, the impact on children and young people, economic impacts, the provisions of the draft Bill and the impact on the Welsh language.
The consultation did not seek views on whether the use of all animals in circuses should be banned, or whether the use of animals in any other form of entertainment should be banned.
There were over 6,500 responses to the consultation. 97% of respondents support our proposal to introduce legislation that would make it an offence for a wild animal to be used in a travelling circus. The same percentage of respondents agree banning the use of wild animals in travelling circuses would have a positive impact on the attitudes of children and young people towards animals.
The responses will inform the further development of the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Wales) Bill. Travelling circuses have toured the United Kingdom for over 200 years and will continue to be welcome in Wales, provided they do not use wild animals. A ban will send a clear message the people of Wales believe this practice to be an outdated notion and ethically unacceptable.
The Summary of Responses to the Consultation on the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Wales) Bill is available on the Welsh Government website: https://beta.gov.wales/wild-animals-travelling-circuses-wales-bill