A ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Wales is one step closer to coming into force – after completing stage two of its legislative proceedings today (5 February).

Travelling circus life severely compromises welfare for wild animals – and the law will outlaw the use of wild animals in this environment; with Wales set to join 45 other countries globally who have taken action. The RSPCA has campaigned for decades for such a ban to be implemented in Wales.

RSPCA Cymru had also worked closely with Members of the Senedd on a series of amendments they hoped would improve the Bill yet further – but these did not receive majority support during stage two proceedings today.

The animal welfare charity is eager to see further improvements to the proposed law – including those that would deliver a full ban on wild animals travelling with a circus, close loopholes, implement the ban sooner and extend punishment provisions.

As drafted, the law is due to come into force on 1 December 2020.

However – while hoping some improvements will still be implemented into the law – the RSPCA has also heralded today as an “important day” for animals, with the much-anticipated ban “one step closer to reality”.

Chris O’Brien, RSPCA public affairs and media manager, said: “With stage two consideration complete, a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses is one big step closer.

“Travelling circus life is wholly inappropriate for wild animals – so this ban is so important for Wales. Confinement, stressful transportation, forced training and abnormal social groupings are all a grim reality for the animals involved.

“While the legislation is very welcome, we are eager to secure further improvements to the Bill – and worked closely with Members of the Senedd to get key amendments tabled; including those that would close loopholes, ensure a full ban, and bring this law into force more quickly. We’re really grateful to those who supported these calls.

“The RSPCA is disappointed these amendments weren’t successful – but will continue to work hard in the hope of further improving this important law; as Wales gets ever-nearer to bidding farewell to the out-dated spectre of wild animals being used in travelling circuses.

“Clearly, this was an important day for animals; with this ban one step closer to reality. We can’t wait to see the use of wild animals in travelling circuses consigned to the history books in Wales – once and for all.”

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