Wild-Animal Circuses Should Be Banned, Concludes Welsh Assembly Report

Posted by on July 28, 2016 | Permalink

A new report recognises that wild animals’ welfare requirements cannot be adequately met in circuses and other travelling animal shows.

In a promising development, an independent report commissioned by the National Assembly for Wales has come out against cruel circuses and mobile zoos that cart wild animals around the country and force them to perform or be put on display.

The report, written after consulting with 658 scientists and other experts, concludes:

The available scientific evidence indicates that captive wild animals in circuses and other travelling animal shows do not achieve their optimal welfare requirements, as set out under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and the evidence would therefore support a ban on using wild animals in travelling circuses and mobile zoos on animal welfare grounds.

The consultation notes that around 3,570 wild animals are currently being used by mobile zoos and circuses in the UK and that these animals are generally kept inside small enclosures with limited or no enrichment. Their normal behaviour is interrupted by being constantly handled, transported from show to show, made to perform, and caged or tethered. As a result, they often sustain injuries, suffer from psychological distress, and display high levels of stereotypical behaviour.

The report also points out that any supposed “educational” or “conservation” impact of animal performances is far outweighed by the negative impression created by exploiting wild animals for entertainment.

It’s encouraging that this report has come out so firmly in favour of banning cruel performances. But this means nothing unless politicians act on these findings and change the law. The misery endured by animals in circuses has gone on long enough – it needs to end now!

Please take action and urge the Welsh Assembly to listen to the evidence and ban archaic wild-animal circuses and mobile zoos without delay.