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OFFICIALS in Wales are being asked to provide detailed options for the future use of wild animals in circuses, after an independent review of the scientific evidence on the welfare of wild animals in travelling circuses concluded that ‘The available scientific evidence indicates that captive wild animals in circuses and other travelling animal shows do not achieve their optimal welfare requirements, as set out under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and the evidence would therefore support a ban on using wild animals in travelling circuses and mobile zoos on animal welfare grounds.’
The review, which was commissioned last year by the Welsh Government, was carried out by a team led by Stephen Harris, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Bristol. He was asked to provide an impartial literature review and an analysis of the scientific evidence available as to whether captive wild animals in travelling circuses and other travelling animal shows achieve their optimal welfare requirements as set out under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and any other relevant legislation.
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