Wild animal circus performance ban set to be decided next week

(Title Image: Senedd Cymru)

Yesterday, the Senedd took part in the final stage of amendments to the Wild Animals & Circuses Bill.

At a Glance Guide

The Bill aims to ban travelling circuses from using wild animals in performances or exhibitions – though this won’t extend to things like TV productions.

“Wild animal” has been legally defined as any animal species that isn’t normally domesticated in the British Islands (the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man).

There were no changes to the Bill at Stage 2 (in committee).

The Key Amendments at Stage 3

Amendment 1 – Llyr Gruffydd MS (Plaid, North Wales)
Makes sure the law applies to wild animals travelling with a travelling circus, not just those performing or being exhibited – essentially a blanket ban on travelling circuses keeping wild animals, including as private pets.
Vote: Rejected – 25 for, 29 against
Reason for Rejection: It amounts to a de facto ban on keeping wild animals, which would breach property rights.

Amendment 2 – Andrew RT Davies MS (Con, South Wales Central)
Similar to Amendment 1, but includes wild animals trained by a travelling circus.
Vote: Rejected – 25 for, 28 against, 1 abstention
Reason for Rejection: As Amendment 1.

Amendment 9 – Andrew RT Davies MS
Limits inspection powers to registered vets or anyone else deemed to be suitably qualified to determine the health and welfare of an animal.
Vote: Rejected – 26 for, 28 against
Reason for Rejection: Some specialists (i.e. zoologists) who don’t have training in animal health and welfare may be prevented from entering a premises and anyone working on the premises has to be supervised by a designated inspector anyway.

The final vote on the Bill is due to take place next week.

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