Today, the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, has stated that in Wales there will be a ban of the use of wild animals in circuses. The Welsh Government have said “The way animals are treated is an important reflection of society and over the next 12 months, a bill will be introduced to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses on welfare grounds”.
It was back in 2013 that the Welsh Government started plans to ban the use of animals in circuses, and in February the UK Government joined them by also committing to banning the practice of using wild animals as performance acts in circuses. In addition to this, 45 countries around the world have already introduced a ban on the use of animals in circuses including. Scotland and Ireland are amongst these countries.
The ban is backed by Animal Defenders International (ADI), who have been campaigning for over 20 years for the abolition of animal circuses and with the rise in awareness -mainly due to social media, the exploitation of animals on any scale is becoming more intolerable. The President of Animal Defenders International Jan Creamer commented on the matter by saying “We congratulate the Welsh Government for taking a stand to stop circus suffering in Wales and bringing a UK-wide ban one step closer… ADI has documented suffering and abuse in UK circuses for many years. Knowing that only a ban can protect them, we are delighted an end to the use of wild animals in circuses in Wales is finally within sight.”
The ADI investigation revealed reports of overcrowding, fighting between animals, circus workers tormenting animals, animals kept inside for days on end, animals being shut up at night behind metal bars with no space for free roaming, not to mention the arduous journeys the animals endure when the circus is travelling from town to town.
The ADI’s Welsh campaign ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ has also been endorsed by celebrities such as Welsh born actor Rhys Ifans who believes that “Like bear baiting, witch burning and the ‘Welsh not’, this cruel practice belongs in the past”.