Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Support the Welsh bill to ban wild animal circuses!

Posted: 8 July 2019. Updated: 8 July 2019


The Welsh Government will introduce today, 8 July 2019, its bill to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

After years of waiting, and documenting the suffering of animals in British circuses, Animal Defenders International is delighted to see action finally being taken to stop circus suffering in Wales. As the bill progresses through the Assembly, we will be doing all we can to support the bill.

  • If you live in Wales, please take action today and urge your AM to support The Wild Animals and Circuses (Wales) Bill. Find and contact them here

In response to a public consultation on the proposed law, the findings published in January 2019, 97% of respondents agreed it should be made an offence for a wild animal to be used in a travelling circus. The same number believed a ban would have a positive impact on attitudes of children and young people towards animals. This reflects expert opinion that wild animal acts have little to no educational value.

Pledging support for draft UK Government legislation published in 2013, the Welsh Government commissioned, after the bill was left to gather dust, an expert report which found “Life for wild animals in travelling circuses…does not appear to constitute either a ‘good life’ or a ‘life worth living’” and supporting a ban on their use.

Although no circuses with wild animals are based in Wales, two licensed to perform with such acts – Circus Mondao and Peter Jolly’s Circus – in England visit each year. Thomas Chipperfield also toured Wales with his big cats in 2015 but has remained off the road since, being refused a licence in 2017 by Defra.

ADI has revealed Chipperfield’s big cats living caged on the back of a truck, the animals shut behind metal shutters at night, with restricted access to an outdoor exercise area during the day. We have also documented, at the winter quarters of Peter Jolly’s Circus, appalling overcrowding, fighting between animals, a worker tormenting a camel, animals kept inside for days on end, and failure to comply with government regulations.

Given the constant travel and their temporary nature, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. Welfare is inevitably compromised.

Help ADI stop circus suffering in Wales and around the world

© Animal Defenders International 2019