Breaking! Wales Is One Step Closer To Banning The Use Of Wild Animals In Traveling Circuses With Introduction Of New Bill

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The Wild Animals and Circuses Bill (Wales), which aims to address ethical concerns by banning the use of wild animals in traveling circuses in Wales, is expected to be introduced to the National Assembly today.

The public overwhelmingly supported the measure in a recent consultation that garnered more than 6,500 responses.

“The declining number of wild animals kept by traveling circuses is a clear indication of the public’s appetite for this type of entertainment which is not what it once was. Wild animals are sentient beings which should be treated with dignity and respect, not exploited for our entertainment in traveling circuses,” Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said in a statement. “The use of wild animals in traveling circuses contributes little to further our understanding of wild animals or their conservation.”

“The introduction of this Bill sends a clear message that this Government and the people of Wales believe this practice to be outdated and ethically unacceptable,” concluded Griffiths.

Animal welfare organizations worldwide agree.

“The use of wild animals in traveling circuses is outdated and unpopular, and this legislation will bring Wales into line with a long and increasing list of countries which have banned this practice; it also means that Great Britain may soon be free of circuses with wild animals,” stated the head of animal welfare and captivity at Born Free, Dr. Chris Draper. “Born Free and its supporters have campaigned for a long time for this outcome and we look forward to the swift progress of the Bill through the Assembly.”

The new legislation will make it an offense for an operator of a traveling circus to use, or permit another person to use, a wild animal in a traveling circus.

Anyone convicted of breaking the law would face an unlimited fine in the courts.

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