Wild animals will be banned from performing in travelling circuses from December 2020

(Title Image: National Science & Media Museum via Flickr, Copyright Free)

The final debate and vote on the Wild Animals & Circuses Bill took place yesterday afternoon.

Environment, Energy & Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths (Lab, Wrexham), said the move to introduce a ban had wide-ranging public support.

Confirming that the ban would come into effect from 1st December 2020, the Minister didn’t expect local authorities to be put under undue pressure in enforcing it given the low number of animals involved (said to be as few as 19).

“….(the law) will be enforced by local authorities. There will be minimal impact on local authorities, and I expect travelling circuses to comply with the ban. I would expect, in the majority of situations, the offence of using a wild animal would be publicly obvious. I’ve already committed to producing guidance and will consult with local authorities on the development of that guidance.”
– Environment, Energy & Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths

Shadow Environment Minister, Andrew RT Davies MS (Con, South Wales Central) – while supporting the Bill – noted the length of time it’s taken to get this far when bans have already been introduced in England and Scotland.

Both himself and Llyr Gruffydd MS (Plaid, North Wales) thought the Bill would’ve been strengthened were their amendments accepted last week. However, Llyr Gruffydd thought the Bill was better than nothing; if nothing had been done, there would’ve been a risk of Wales becoming a “haven” for performing wild animals.

Although there was a recorded vote in line with the rules, the Bill was unanimously approved.

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