A petition submitted to the National Assembly’s Petitions Committee by the RSPCA Cymru, which called for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses in Wales, has been closed by the Committee this week as it was deemed to have “essentially achieved its purpose”.
The petition was first considered by the Committee in October last year, having collected over almost 8,000 signatures online. Since then, the Deputy Minister for Farming & Food issued a written statement which said that the Welsh Government believed that there was “no place for the use of wild animals in circuses”. An independent review on the evidence of animal welfare, both physical and mental, of wild and/or non-domesticated animals in travelling and non-travelling circuses has been commissioned and is expected to report at the end of February.
William Powell AM, Chair of the National Assembly for Wales Petitions Committee said:
“I am delighted that we have been able to facilitate the progress of this petition, securing such a welcome outcome. The Welsh Liberal Democrats fully support the introduction of an early ban and I trust that the independent review commissioned by the Welsh Government will provide the evidence needed to put an end to this practice once and for all.
“Polling suggests the public supports a ban overwhelmingly, and once again we see tangible results from a public petition being brought before the Assembly and directly influencing the policies of Welsh Government. In my view, this is politics at its best.”