Wild animals used in travelling circuses are protected by the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which prevents unnecessary cruelty or suffering to any vertebrate animal. The Act makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met. This includes the need: for a suitable environment (place to live); for a suitable diet; to exhibit normal behaviour patterns; to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable); and to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.
A Feasibility Study is currently under way looking at the possibility of regulating wild animal acts in travelling circuses. The Feasibility Study is nearing completion and I intend to review the findings carefully.