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More and more countries ban animals in circuses

The use of animals in circuses is rapidly banned in more and more countries. In November alone, India, Italy and Ireland opted for such ban. In total there are now 42 countries in the world that have banned the use of animals in circuses. Animal welfare organisations and scientists emphasise that the use of animals for entertainment purposes is irresponsible and outdated.

Several scientific reports show that the welfare of wild animals in travelling circuses is insufficiently guaranteed and they recommend to ban the use of animals in circuses. More and more governments are acting upon this. In November, India, Italy and Ireland imposed a ban on the use of animals in circuses.

The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) of India decided that circuses may no longer exhibit animals or have them perform tricks. The use of monkeys, lions, bears and tigers for entertainment was already banned in 1998, but elephants could still be used in shows. From now on elephants can no longer be used either. All elephants that were used in circuses in India will go to rehabilitation centres for animals.

The Italian parliament also imposed a ban on the use of all animal species in circuses and shows travelling around the country. By means of a decree, regulations will be laid to implement the new legislation for the phased banning of all animals from circuses. This is a great breakthrough for animal welfare considering that Italy has one of the world’s largest circus industries: approx. 100 circuses with 2,000 animals in total.

Last of all, Michael Creed, the Irish Minister of Agriculture, announced this month that a ban on the use of animals in Irish circuses will be introduced in January 2018. With this, Ireland is the 20th member state of the European Union that puts a stop to the use of animals for entertainment in circuses.