Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Stop Circus Suffering Colombia

Posted: 6 May 2008. Updated: 12 June 2014


Children’s forum promotes respect for animals

On June 6th, 2014 the Second Children’s Forum Against Animal Abuse “Little life savers” was held at the District Institute of Recreation and Sport (IDRD), Bogota. Supported by ADI, the event was attended by over 400 children, teachers, parents and members of the public and included a range of academic, cultural and recreational activities on animal protection issues. Before the bill to ban wild animals in circuses was passed, organizers of the forum the Club of Animal Rights Children of Colombia displayed in Congress a collection of drawings and letters in support of the ban. ADI will continue to support efforts to educate children on the protection of animals.

Colombia circus ban to press ahead as law upheld

The ban on the use of wild animals in circuses in Colombia that was secured last year has been upheld by the Constitutional Court of Colombia following a debate on 14 May 2014. Having campaigned for several years to win the ban – going undercover in Colombia’s circuses, exposing the cruelty and lobbying for change – our work to now save the animals begins! ADI has offered to rescue and relocate each and every animal and take them to sanctuary and we hope to work with the Colombian authorities, as we have done in Bolivia and are presently doing in Peru.

Colombian political candidates discuss animal protection at forum

A forum on animal protection issues organised for political candidates in Colombia was held at the University Javeriana in Bogota on February 25 2014. Read more...

Candlelit procession against animal cruelty

A candlelit procession was held in Bogota on December 11th, 2013 to urge the Constitutional Court of Colombia to defend the wild animal circus ban AND not to permit bullfighting to return to the capital.

Save Nala from being returned to the circus!

Nala the lioness was seized from a circus in Colombia in 2008 after her owner was convicted of cruelty, however in response to a lawsuit filed by the circus, Nala could soon be returned to the circus. Sign the petition to save Nala!

ADI participates in Colombian animal protection forum

October 2013: During the past two months, ADI has participated in discussions on animal welfare policy in Sogamoso, Duitama and Tunja of the department (state) of Boyaca in Colombia. Local groups colectivo animalista del Tundama, Nodo Duitama, Natufauna, Vianko and Salva organized the events with the support of both the council and the Mayor. ADI will continue to advise on initiatives to legally protect animals in the region and build on the success of our Stop Circus Suffering campaign.

Thank you Colombia!

On September 11, 2013, through a formal ceremony at the Congress of the Republic of Colombia, ADI thanked Senators, Representatives to the House, authorities, organizations and individuals who contributed to the ban on wild animals in circuses in Colombia. Read more...

Help ADI get the animals out of the circuses

On Wednesday 12th June 2013, the Colombian Congress voted overwhelmingly to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses. But now we face our greatest challenge – we must ensure the new law is enforced in Colombia. Getting the law passed is one step – getting the animals safe is the next! Read more...

Colombia bans wild animals in circuses

The Colombian Congress today passed Bill 244,2012 to end the use of wild animals in both static and travelling circuses, after a six-year public campaign following the release of critical evidence of animal suffering collected by investigators from ADI. Read more...

View Victory in Colombia photo gallery

Inside Colombia’s circuses - view gallery of photos taken by ADI Field Officers

Students deliver messages of support for circus ban to Congress

On 28th May 2013 ADI were joined by a group of students of schools INEM and Mercedes Nariño Female Lyceum who delivered letters and drawings to Congress in support of the circus bill. Two students were permitted to interrupt the Plenary session, which was broadcast live on Channel Congress, to read some of the letters to the senators present. An article on the visit was published on the Congress’ website. We thank the children, teachers and parents who accompanied them and the organizations and activists who supported and participated in the visit.

Interview with ADI Chief Executive in Voces Animales

At the end of February 2013, an interview with ADI Chief Executive Jan Creamer featured in the newspaper Voces Animales. The focus of the issue was the use of animals in experiments and the paper was delivered to Colombian senators, animal rights and general public. Read the article here. In May, the focus of the issue was the use of animals in circuses and our Stop Circus Suffering campaign for the circus ban was highlighted.

Tolima circus Restriction

The recently passed restriction on the use of wild animals in circuses in Tolima (find out more here) has been unsuccessfully contested by the circus Gasca, after the judge declared that the legal action filed by the circus was inadmissible. The story featured in El Nuevodia.

Circus without animals “Muro de Espuma” back in Bogota

The wonderful circus without animals “Muro de Espuma” will be back in Bogota from May 24 to June 3 for the International Circus Festival, where the only animal is human. Read more...

Colombia Takes Another Step Towards Circus Animal Ban

Colombia’s Law 244/12 was amended and approved in Commission V on May 8th, 2013 – BY SEVEN VOTES WITH NONE AGAINST – and will go before Colombia’s Plenary for a final vote. Disappointingly, domestic animals have been excluded from the Bill but it will still ban all wild animals from circuses in Colombia. Read more...

Colombia moves closer to circus animal ban

May 8, 2012, BOGOTA, COLOMBIA – The Colombian Senate’s Fifth Committee approved a draft bill to end the use of animals in traveling circuses. Read more...

Circus ban secured in Tolima

A ban on the use of animals in circuses in Tolima was passed on 25 April 2013 by the Plenary Assembly of the Tolima Department. Read more...

ADI steps up campaign ahead of vote in Senate

With the Senate expected to vote on a circus ban imminently, ADI is stepping up our Stop Circus Suffering Colombia campaign. Read more...

Secretary of Government should enforce local law approved by Council of Bogota as IDRD did

ADI applauds the decision of the District Institute of Recreation and Sport (IDRD) of the Mayor of Bogota not to allow land at El Campin to be used by Circus Hermanos Gasca. ADI hopes that the District government will take steps to enforce the District Development Plan which calls for the elimination of all animal displays in circuses. Read more...

National tour to ban the use of animals in circuses in Colombia

Join ADI on our tour to raise awareness of the bill to ban animal circuses from February 20th to April 10th. Read more...

ADI release Colombian circus cruelty video as Senate prepares to discuss ban

ADI has launched new video evidence exposing the continued abuse of animals in circuses across Colombia at Congress in Bogota to support Bill 244. Read more...

October events

ADI will be attending a number of events in Bogota this month. You can find out more here.


ADI will be raising awareness about our efforts to ban animal circuses in Colombia at ECOYOGA on September 16th in Bogota, which is organised by “La Revolución de la Cuchara".

Update of activities in Colombia

Read about the events ADI South America has attended in the past couple of months to raise awareness for animals in circuses here. (In Spanish)

11th Latin Convention of Circus “where the only animal is the man”

Having entertained visitors of the 10th circus festival with their humour, creativity and talent in April, “Muro de Espuma” return to Bogota for the 11th Latin Convention of Circus “where the only animal is the man”, which will be taking place on 3-7 August at Community Development Center Servita – Cll 165 Nº 7-38. Enjoy this artistic, cultural and educational event, which will feature a range of animal-free acts and activities, with family and friends. Video screenings will include ADI’s “Unnatural Acts", which contrasts the shocking abuse and confinement of animals in circuses with how the animals would live in the wild.
See here for details. (For Spanish version click here.)

Bogota prohibits the use of animals in circuses

ADI is delighted to announce that the Plenary Council of Colombia’s capital city Bogota has voted overwhelmingly to ban the use of animals in circuses. Read more

10th International Circus Festival of Bogota “Where the only animal is the human"

Amazing circus performances from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Switzerland, Chile, French, United States and Colombia were seen during this animal-free festival, held from 30 March to 7 April 2012. Read more...

Ecoyoga Festival

On March 25th, ADI Colombia attended the Ecoyoga Festival, where we held an information stand and spoke to visitors about our circus campaign.

Students attend Stop Circus Suffering conference

On March 21st, ADI Colombia went to the District School “Manuelita Saenz” to talk about our Stop Circus Suffering, addressing more than 200 students.

Colombia moves closer to animal circus ban

ADI Colombia and Rep. Augusto Posada of the Colombian Congress have announced that the Bill to end the suffering of animals in travelling circuses has passed successfully through the House of Representatives. Read more...

One step closer to a ban on animals in circuses in Colombia

Animal Defenders International is overjoyed that the bill to ban all animals in circuses has been approved in the Chamber of Representatives of the Colombian Congress. Read more... In Spanish

ADI Colombia receives commendation and heralds a massive march in Bogotá

Over 4000 people marched alongside our ADI Colombia team on 10 May, in support of the ban on animals in circuses and the reform of the out of date animal protection law. Citizens and local groups travelled from all over the country and were joined by several congress members from all political parties and local politicians, as well as high profile celebrities. A few days after the march, the Colombian Police gave a commendation to ADI in recognition to our “leadership in the development of activities for the protection of animals". Read more

ADI joins World March for Animal Rights in Bogotá

The march, aimed to generate awareness on worldwide animal protection issues, heralds a new drive for an end to the use animals in circuses in Colombia. Protestors urged the Colombian Congress and Government to take action by supporting a ban on the use of animals in circuses in Colombia and enforce animal protection legislation. Read more

ADI Investigation on the Colombian Animal Circus Industry Results in Rescue of Chimpanzees

The Colombian Ministry of Environment has confirmed a resolution produced earlier this year to sanction Martin Fuentes Gasca, owner of Circo Gasca, and Pedro Alfonso Villaraga, representative of the company PROTEQUEM, for the breach of environmental legislation. Read more... In Spanish

Pereira takes measures to protect animals used in shows

Thanks to ADI’s “Stop Circus Suffering” campaign the Council of Pereira approved the Municipal Agreement No. 032, implementing strict measures on the management and presentation of animals used in shows in order to protect them from animal abuse. Read more... In Spanish

ADI at the II National Forum against Animal Abuse in the Colombian Senate

On February 18, ADI presented an overview of the Stop Circus Suffering campaign in Colombia and South America at the II National Forum against Animal Abuse. Read more...

Colombian rock bands El Sie7e and La Pestilencia support campaign

As part of the Jingle Bell Rock festival in Bogota, top Colombian rock bands El Sie7e and La Pestilencia held a concert with an audience of over 5000 fans and publicly joined ADI’s the Stop Circus Suffering campaign.
Read more
In Spanish

ADI in action in South America

ADI was recently presented with Colombia’s ‘Animal Defender of the Year 2008 award’ sponsored by the local animal protection organization Defenzoores and the University of Antioquia. The award commends ADI’s impact and hard work on behalf of the animals in Colombia.

Groups line up behind campaign, and everyone hears about Karla

ADI and the Mentes Verde Foundation (Foundation Green Minds) launched the SCS campaign with a series of public screenings of the DVD in different locations and with the backing of the Mayor of Bogota, universities, schools and animal protection groups such as Asociación Defensora de Animales y Ambiente (ADA), Protective Society of Animals of Colombia (SPAC), Foundation Friends of the Planet, Marco Verde, Paradise of the Pet, Defenzoores, Corporation Raya and F.A.U.N.A. The media response was immediate and continued for months.
Find out more... In Spanish

Colombia: Battle to save Karla the chimpanzee

ADI Field Officers working undercover in an animal circus witnessed some of the most sickening scenes they have ever encountered when a female chimpanzee, called Karla, was punched in the face and beaten with a chain by her trainer.
Find out about the campaign to save Karla...

ADI Scientific evidence condemns animal circuses

The new ADI report reviews the scientific evidence on the effects of transport and captivity on animals that confirms their welfare is compromised – and this is the case for both domesticated and non-domesticated species. Disturbing new photographs of animals in South American circuses are included.
Download the report...

ADI Stop Circus Suffering Campaign launched in Colombia

An undercover investigation of animal use in circuses across South America by Field Officers from Animal Defenders International (ADI) has revealed shocking abuse and animal suffering in circuses in Colombia. The findings will be revealed in a new report and video being launched in Bogota today. It is the start of a national campaign, being spearheaded by ADI and Colombia’s Mentes Verdes Foundation, to end the use of animals in travelling circuses in Colombia. Find out more... In Spanish

Inside the South American circus industry

Shocking cruelty uncovered by ADI Field Officers working undercover inside circuses in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru including: A llama repeatedly whipped (Circus Africa de Fieras); a chimpanzee, called Panchito, beaten by his trainer – the frightened animal screams throughout the attacks. (Circo Hermanos Gasca); Stones thrown at a monkey by a worker (Circo Hermanos Gasca); Ponies hit repeatedly during training sessions (Circo Africa de fieras); A chimpanzee called Karla, punched in the face and beaten with a chain (Circus Africa de Fieras). Find out more...

  • Read about our global Stop Circus Suffering campaign here
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