The Welsh Government is considering whether there should be a licensing or registration scheme put in place to better regulate Mobile Animal Exhibits in Wales.
As well as performing wild animals in circuses, Mobile Animal Exhibits include travelling falconry and hawking displays, exotic pets taken into schools for educational purposes and reindeer at Christmas events.
There is currently no standard licencing regime or requirement for routine inspection of Mobile Animal Exhibits. A licencing or registration scheme could improve the welfare of animals in a travelling environment and support businesses operating Mobile Animal Exhibits in Wales to do so in an effective and appropriate way.
The public are being encouraged to have their say in a Welsh Government consultation on the subject. The move follows concerns the welfare needs of some animals kept in Mobile Animal Exhibits can not be met in a travelling environment.
This is the first time people have been able to have their say on this subject in a way that will inform the Government’s next steps.
The consultation asks for people’s views on a range of issues relating to the regulation of Mobile Animal Exhibits in Wales, including whether the use of wild animals in circuses should be banned.
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said:
“I strongly believe animals should be protected from pain, injury, fear and distress. There have been concerns expressed about the use of wild animals in some Mobile Animal Exhibits and as the use of such exhibits increases in popularity it is clear we need to look at whether there should be better regulation and controls as is standard for the majority of other businesses.
“This subject is an emotive one and I know there are some very strong views on how we should proceed. It is important we receive a wide-range of views so we can consider these, along with expert advice, in deciding how Mobile Animal Exhibits should be regulated in future. I would encourage everyone with an interest to take this opportunity to have their say.”
The consultation is available on the Welsh Government website.