RSPCA Cymru is calling on the public to give a circus with wild animals, now in Bargoed, a miss.

The complex needs of wild animals can never be adequately met in a circus environment with regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance all unavoidable realities for the animals.

The circus – which uses wild animals in its performances – has moved to Bargoed from Sully.

RSPCA’s senior scientific officer, specialising in circus animal welfare, Ros Clubb said: “Circuses will only continue to use wild animals if the public continue to pay to see them.

“After the circus came back to Wales this year many were shocked and appalled that such a practice still goes on in 21st century Wales, and we are urging members of the public in Bargoed to vote with their feet and give this circus that uses wild animals, a miss.

“We believe that because of their transient nature, travelling shows like this will never be able to keep any wild animals in a way that provides acceptable standards of welfare.

“The impact of circuses on animal welfare is serious and potentially debilitating for each and every animal involved. Animals are forced to endure the constant travel, cramped temporary cages, and noisy conditions of a circus.

“We have major concerns about the welfare of wild animals involved in this, or any other, travelling show, a concern that is clearly shared by a huge number of other people in Wales. For the sake of the animals, please give it a miss.”

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.

Notes to editors:
On the 5th May 2016 there are elections to the National Assembly for Wales. The RSPCA is an apolitical organisation and takes its political impartiality very seriously. Therefore, as part of our compliance with the Lobbying, Non Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, we have suspended all campaigns, during the pre-election period – 5th January to 5th May 2016, that call for change from the National Assembly for Wales. This therefore includes the campaign for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, which is a devolved matter.

In October 2015, RSPCA Cymru handed in a petition to the National Assembly for Wales’ Petitions Committee. The petition gained more than 7,900 signatures which called upon the Welsh Government to introduce a long-awaited ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

The RSPCA is campaigning for a ban of circuses with wild animals in England which is the responsibility of the UK Government.

Loading and transport, which are well known stressful events even for experienced animals, occur on a weekly basis for the 5-10 months circuses travel around the country. Researchers granted access to circuses have reported high levels of behaviour in animals being transported indicative of welfare problems – such as tigers pacing back and forth and elephants weaving from side to side.

European neighbours Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia as well as several countries further afield (Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Israel, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore) have all successfully banned the use of wild animals in circuses. Slovakia, India, Czech Republic, Sweden, Hungary, Finland, Ecuador and Denmark also have imposed bans on key species and Portugal has banned circuses breeding their existing wild animals or acquiring any new ones. Estonia and Poland have banned the use of all wild-caught animals.