P-05-796 Calling on the Welsh Goverment to Ban The Use of Wild Animals in Circuses in Wales - Correspondence from the Petitioner to the Committee, 28.06.18


To the members of the Petitions Committee of the Welsh Assembly. 


Re the submission by the Circus Guild of Great Britain in relation to my petition calling on the Welsh Government to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in Wales.  


Thank you for asking me to comment on the above.  May I first state that this will be a short response, due to me only receiving the above submission yesterday morning.  I have covered many of the issues raised in my two previous submissions to the Pettions Committee in support of my petition and also in my contubution to the Welsh Government Consultation on MAE last year. I know many members have kindly taken the time to read these. I understand my submissions are in the public domain should Rona Brown or others wish to read them.  


As the Welsh Government have now said they are "exploring opportunities " to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in Wales I feel the issues around the licensing system ( which only applies in England not Cymru ) are not really relevant to this debate at the present time.  


The two animal circuses currently licensed by DEFRA to tour England,  Peter Jolly's Circus and Circus Mondao do use wild animals not "exotic " as Rona Brown of the Circus Guild states.  This is confirmed by the documents she herself supplied when two LA Public Protection department's chose to visit both the above animal circuses in Wales last year. Both have: 


I.  A licence to keep Dangerous wild animals. (1976 regulations )  


2. A licence to tour England granted under the regulations of 2012 which is known as a travelling circus licence for the welfare of wild animals.  


I covered this very subject of LA Public Protection departments in one of my previous submissions and my response to the consultation by the Welsh Government on MAE. I explained I had met with Ms Mai Roberts the Public Protection Manager from Cyngor Gwynedd Council and Councillor Dafydd Meurig who is the Cabinet member responsible for such matters on Cyngor Gwynedd Council.  They both very kindly took time to explain to me the challenges and difficulties a visiting circus that uses wild animals present to them.  


I would like to state that in Wales the Welsh Government or Welsh Assembly have no authority to act in this matter at the present time.  The people who attended the two random inspections sited by Rona Brown from the Welsh Assembly did so as observers.  I am puzzled by the fact that the said documents have "Draft " printed throughout their pages. 


For clarity I would like to state that the consultation carried out by the Welsh Government on Mobile Animal Exhibits of 2017 received almost 1,000 responses out of this 892 respondents chose to answer only one question on banning wild animals in circuses in Wales. This consultation concluded that "the majority of respondents believe the use of wild animals in circuses should be banned and that wild animals cannot be cared for appropriately whilst in a travelling environment “.  


I am simply staggered by the phrase Rona Brown uses "administration error " to explain the findings of the Inspector from DEFRA that resulted in Circus Mondao having their circus licence to tour England suspended in December 2015.  I provided the link to the relevant documents from DEFRA in one of my previous submissions. However today please find the attached pictures of the license suspension notice to Circus Mondao from DEFRA. May I draw your attention to the serious issues the unannounced inspection flagged up around the animals welfare.  Including a Camel being denied veterinary treatment, the size of the enclosures the animals where kept in, poor record keeping around the care plans of the animals. Together with the issues Rona Brown herself admits to of members of the public being left unsupervised with Circus Mondao's animals. The said document clearly shows this has been a longstanding concern to the DEFRA Inspectors.  


Rona herself admits to the fact that there has "some welfare issues during the last five years ". 


At this time I have no more pressing points I wish to add in relation to the above document from the Circus Guild of Great Britain.  However I know I may be able to add more at a later date if I wish to.  


For clarity I would like to state that I have no links with the animal entertainment industry. I have never been a member of any political party.  Once again thank you for inviting me to comment. 


Linda Evelyn Joyce-Jones Caernarfon, Arfon Constituency 27/6/18.