RSPCA Newport Animal Centre Christmas FeteA “groundswell of opinion” supports ending the use of wild animals in circuses in Wales, as 97% of respondents to a Welsh Government consultation back long-standing RSPCA calls for a legislative ban.

RSPCA Cymru has long led the campaign to ban the use of wild animals in circuses – and has labelled this latest development another “positive step” towards outlawing this practice.

The Welsh Government has today (30 January) announced that more than 6,500 responded to the consultation, with 97% backing legislation to make using a wild animal in a travelling circus an offence.

Approximately 9,000 people previously backed an RSPCA petition calling for a ban. The charity says the practice “clearly compromises animal welfare”.

The RSPCA has held street stalls and events across Wales, and hundreds of supporter emails have been sent directly to the responsible Minister backing a ban, as part of a wide-ranging public campaign.

Dr Ros Clubb, the RSPCA’s senior scientific manager, specialising in captive wild animals, said: “The findings of this consultation show a groundswell of opinion across Wales for ending the use of wild animals in travelling circuses, once and for all.

“Clearly, this is another positive step on the road to a much-needed outright ban.

“The keeping of wild animals in travelling circuses is an outdated practice that clearly compromises animal welfare. The transient nature of circuses – alongside cramped accommodation and forced training for animals – highlights how inappropriate these settings are.

“RSPCA Cymru is hugely grateful to everybody who has backed our campaign, and ensured the message is heard loud and clear that these circuses are not welcome in modern Wales.

“We now look forward to further scrutiny of this legislation, and close working with the Welsh Government and Assembly Members to get this ban through, and ensure the spectre of travelling circuses in Wales is finally consigned to the history books.”