1st December 2020

Today marks a truly momentous moment on the long road to ending the suffering of animals in captivity. Today, finally, the Wild Animals and Circuses (Wales) Act 2020 has come into effect, making it a criminal offence to use a wild animal in a travelling circus in Wales.

Just ten months ago, a similar ban in England came into force and with Scotland outlawing the practice in 2017, wild animal circuses will be banned across the whole of Britain.

Freedom for Animals, formerly the Captive Animals Protection Society, began campaigning on the issue way back in 1957, securing over 200 local council bans before legislation finally came.

Sam Threadgill, the Director of Freedom for Animals commented:

It is at historic moments like this that it is important to take stock and recognise the hard work of so many who have campaigned tirelessly for the sake of these animals. The fight for a world without cages continues, but the Wild Animals and Circuses (Wales) Act 2020 is a huge step forwards.

The COVID pandemic this year hugely affected the touring schedules of circuses who still use animals in their acts. Despite this, Freedom for Animals obtained evidence that Circus Mondao was still taking their zebras and reindeer with them when they toured in Lincolnshire and elsewhere.

In a previous statement, Lesley Griffths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said:

The use of wild animals for entertainment in this way is outdated – wild animals are sentient beings with complex needs, and they should not be seen as commodities for our entertainment.

Despite this huge milestone, 'domestic' animals such as horses, llamas and chickens are still permitted to be used as part of cruel circus acts.

Help us continue to push for a total ban on all animal circuses by becoming a Freedom Champion!