Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Bolivia Bans Use Of Animals In Circuses

LA PAZ, Bolivia, Jul. 30, 2009
Citing Cruelty, Bolivia Bans Use Of All Animals In Circuses
(AP)  Bolivia has enacted what animal rights defenders are calling the world's first law that prohibits the use of animals in circuses.
A handful of other countries have banned the use of wild animals in circuses, but the Bolivian ban includes domestic animals as well.

The law, which states that the use of animals in circuses "constitutes an act of cruelty," took effect on July 1 and operators have a year to comply, according to the bill's sponsor, Rep. Ximena Flores. The law was proposed after an undercover investigation by the nonprofit London-based group Animal Defenders International, or ADI, found widespread abuse in circuses operating in Bolivia.

Flores said authorities are seeking to keep circus operators from killing animals they can no longer use. "About 50 animals are circulating in national and international circuses at the moment (in Bolivia) and we want to negotiate to make sure that the animals aren't eliminated," she said.

ADI chief executive Jan Creamer called the law "groundbreaking." The group's undercover investigators in Bolivia worked side-by-side with circus workers and filmed disturbing mistreatment, she said, adding that poorly paid and trained workers routinely abused animals.
"If they wanted an animal to move, their immediate reaction was a kick or a punch or a shove," she said.

She said circus animals suffer everywhere - including in wealthy countries such as The United States - from living in tight quarters and being constantly transported. "It's rather as if you and I were asked to spend the rest of our lives living in our bathroom," said Creamer. "In Bolivia there were three brown bears being kept in tiny compartments that were just 2-by-3 meters."

The law sets fines for infractions and allows for animals to be confiscated by authorities, said Flores.

March 25, 2015 Real life Paddington bear to hitch a ride on ADI flight from Peru to Colorado with 33 lions

Did the Government Really Turn its Back on Abused Circus Animals?


November 17, 2010 Care2


A global animal welfare organization says the government is turning its back on abuse to circus animals in the UK and instead recommending that circuses regulate themselves.


For the past 15 years, Animal Defenders International has provided documentation to officials about the tortuous lives of circus animals in the UK. Their undercover videos show elephants routinely being beaten and abused and other animals languishing away in cages.


The organization called for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and for a short time it looked hopeful that the government would take action.  Legislation was drawn up, 143 MP’s endorsed the ban and a final answer was promised by June.


But now the government appears to have turned its back on circus animals.  They are taking advice from a pro circus organization called Performing Animals Welfare Standards International (PAWSI) and leaning toward a policy that would have circuses regulate and police themselves.


ADI says, “Self-regulation cannot work in an industry where random acts of violence and cruelty are commonplace and there is no discipline, structure, and no way to enforce regulations.”


Last year ADI released undercover video of abuse at the Great British Circus.  This circus was following policies laid out by PAWSI. 


The video showed “frightened, stressed elephants being brutally hit in the face with elephant metal hooks, brooms and pitchforks," reported ADI. ADI released the video to the public, but PAWSI defended the actions of the circus and refused to release the name of the employee who abused the elephants.


Another aspect in support of a ban comes from the compassion of the British public.  In May 2010, a government survey asked people about a ban on the use of all wild animals in British circuses.  


A whopping 94.5 percent of the public, who responded to the questionnaire, were in favor of halting the practice.


ADI has stepped up its Circus Campaign and is calling for public and political support. They are re-releasing the video depicting cruelty to circus animals so the government cannot ignore what life is really like for these innocent animals. And they have prepared postcards for the public to order and send to authorities. They can be ordered by e-mail: info@ad-international.org.


ADI hopes the UK will show the same compassion toward circus animals as Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, Singapore, Bolivia, Costa Rica, India and Israel.  Each of these countries have prohibited or limited animals from the circus.

Victory in the campaign to ban circus animals

June 24, 2011

Government concedes defeat after bribes and intimidation fail to deter rebels

MPs voted to ban wild animals in circuses last night after David Cameron's attempts to bully Conservative backbenchers into voting against the measure backfired and ended in a humiliating public defeat. In a decision hailed by campaigners as an "historic victory for animal welfare and protection", MPs of all parties unanimously backed a ban and the Government signalled that it would introduce one, ending forever the days of lions, tigers, elephants and other wild animals in the big top. [Source: The independent]

This wonderful news from Britain is a double win for the animals and for democracy. Politicians with the backbone to do what’s right and initiate a ban of wild animals in circuses. The overwhelming majority of citizens supported the action, and like the people of other countries, are increasingly asking for legislation to protect the interests of animals. A special thanks to Mr. Pritchard, a Conservative backbencher who was bullied, bribed, and threatened, all in an effort to stop there being a vote on the motion.   

As astonished MPs listened, Mr Pritchard said: "Well I have a message for the whips and for the Prime Minister of our country – and I didn't pick a fight with the Prime Minister – I may just be a little council house lad from a very poor background but that background gave me a backbone. It gives me a thick skin and I'm not going to be cowed by the whips of the Prime Minister on an issue I feel passionately about and have conviction about.

Note: Wild animals or certain species have already been prohibited in circuses in Austria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Israel, Singapore, Finland and Denmark. In 2009, Bolivia distinguished herself as the first to ban every wild and domestic animal from circuses by passing the 4040 Law of Circuses without Animals.  Animal advocacy groups are actively working to promote Bill 7291/2006, which would ban the use of animals in circuses throughout Brazil.

July 21, 2011 Victory - President Alan Garcia of Peru has signed a law to ban all wild animals from the country’s circuses. Congressman Jose Urquizo is asking all “parliamentarians from all countries to follow the example of Peru and ban wild animals in circuses, ending the suffering of animals.” Animal Defenders International will work with the Government of Peru in preparation of regulations to implement the law.  

April 16, 2013 Britain: Circuses to face wild animal ban; updates; social justice

Read more: Ringling Brothers Will Stand Trial for Elephant Abuse; Bolivia bans use of animals in circuses, UK bill stalls; CA cities take action, bullhooks banned, Ringling to end elephant acts 2018; date's moved ahead to 2016

Read more: Cruelty in the name of entertainment; take action, ban animal acts; boycotting Shriners