Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Brazilian law to ban all animals in circuses continues its course in Chamber of Deputies

Posted: 25 August 2009. Updated: 21 September 2009


Last June 2009, Animal Defenders International (ADI) welcomed the vote of the law banning all animals in circuses in the Commission of Education and Culture of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies.

Bill No. 7291, presented by the Congressman Antonio Carlos Biffi, passed following an intense debate with a strong presence of circus lobbyists and animal protection groups.

The approval of the bill followed intensive lobbying lead by ADI as part of the Stop Circus Suffering campaign in Brazil. The bill bans the use of both wild and domestic animals in circus shows, but the Commission compromised by allowing 8 years for the implementation of the law.

In August 2009 the law entered in the Commission for the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies.

Representative Ricardo Tripoli (Pictured), who champions the law in this commission, defended its conformity with the Brazilian constitution. He argued that circuses are cruel to animals and that, in fact, the use of animals is even contrary to the Constitution. ADI is very pleased with the progress of the law and is actively campaigning in Brasilia to support Mr. Ricardo Tripoli’s report.

We hope that the Commission for the Constitution will approve the ban so that the law can move to the Plenary, its last stage in the Chamber of Deputies. A complete ban on all animals in circuses in Brazil would have a significant worldwide impact for the Stop Circus Suffering Campaign.

ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering Campaign Brazil was launched in 2008 in conjunction with Brazilian animal protection groups and with the backing of cruelty-free cosmetics company Surya. An ADI undercover investigation revealed a disturbing insight behind the scenes of Brazil’s circus industry, including:

•Camels being punched, hit with a stick, struck with a tent pole, and their lips being twisted to inflict pain;
•A solitary elephant chained by the legs barely able to move;
•A child allowed to torment a camel;
•A camel forced to travel whilst pregnant and giving birth in a temporary pen on bare concrete;
•A solitary bear forced to live in a cage on the back of a lorry;
•A llama having its ear twisted to make it obey;
•An elephant chained in a noisy and frightening environment, in a stadium with deafening engine noise and flashing lights.

Earlier this year, the Bolivia banned the use of all animals in circuses, and a similar debate is currently held in the Peruvian Congress, soon to be discussed in the full parliament.

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