Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

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

Posted: 9 November 2011. Updated: 17 April 2015


‘The 5th Commission of the Chamber of Representatives approves bill to ban all animals in circuses’

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.

Today cross party representatives of the 5th Commission of the Chamber debated bill No. 52/2011 and approved it unanimously. This vote follows the recent introduction of the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, H.R. 3359 in the House of Representatives in the U.S. which aims to protect all wild and exotic animals forced to travel and perform in U.S. circuses.

Bill No. 52/2011 was introduced in August by main sponsor Representative Augusto Posada and it has since been co-sponsored by sixteen cross party congress members. The bill bans the use of wild and domestic animals in travelling circuses and gives powers to the Ministry of Environment to enact regulations for the implementation, including pecuniary sanctions for breaches.

ADI’s investigation on the use of animals in Colombian circuses revealed staggering levels of violence and abuse involving a female chimpanzee named Karla, who was punched in the face and beaten with a chain by her trainer. The investigation also showed animals living in inadequate, deprived and unnatural conditions. The stress of severe confinement, a consistent factor with travelling animal circuses all over the world, is shown to be compounded by the lack of space to exercise or exhibit natural behaviour as well as a lack of social interaction with their own species.

Jan Creamer, ADI’s President said: “We are delighted that representatives have acknowledged that there is a fundamental animal welfare problem at the heart of the travelling circus, and have responded to ADI’s evidence and to the huge public support for a ban. There is an international trend to ban the use of animals in circuses and now Colombia must follow suit, in the interests of animal welfare and protection.”

Representative Posada said: “With the approval of this bill we will achieve the prevention of animal abuse in circuses and the risks of public health and safety. Also there will be more space for circus shows filled with human talent.”

Now the bill will be sent to the Plenary of the Chamber of Representatives for its second debate. After it is approved, it will be sent to the Senate for two more debates in the Commission and the Plenary.

© Animal Defenders International 2019