December 14, 2017

RSPCA Cymru has long campaigned for a end to the use of wild animals in circuses. 74 percent of the public in Wales support a ban on wild animals performing in circuses in Wales*.

Scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that life within a travelling circus is likely to have harmful effects on animal welfare.  Regular transport, cramped housing, forced training and loud noises often prove an unavoidable reality for wild animals based within a circus setting.

Despite this, it remains legal for non-domesticated animals to perform in such an environment, with one such circus recently completing a tour of Wales.

The Welsh Government has indicated its support for a ban previously, whilst a ban is supported by the majority of the public in Wales.


However the Welsh Government had indicated a preference for the UK Government to legislate on Wales’ behalf on this issue. Given this, RSPCA Cymru is bitterly disappointed that an anticipated legislation was not passed in the 2010-2015 UK Parliament.

In 2015 our petition to the Petitions Committee gained more than 7,700 signatures.  This called on the Welsh Government to ensure that legislation is brought forward to ensure wild animals in Wales are no longer allowed to suffer within the circus environment.

The Welsh Government subsequently commissioned a review to look into the evidence for a ban and is currently consulting on next steps, including regulation of other Mobile Animal Exhibits (MAEs).

Our public campaign, encouraging supporters to urge the Welsh Government to take action, was launched on 12 September and closed on 08 October.  Over 500 supporters emailed the Welsh Government urging them to support licensing of Mobile Animal Exhibits and to end the practise of wild animals in circuses.  Our consultation response can be found here.

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,036 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th–22nd August 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Welsh adults (aged 18+)