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Animal Defenders International

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

Posted: 15 November 2012. Updated: 4 December 2012

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ADI has launched new video evidence exposing the continued abuse of animals in circuses across Colombia. It is hoped that Colombia will be the fifth country in South America to ban the use of animals in traveling circuses, following a global trend that has now seen over 20 countries introduce bans.

ADI’s disturbing images were unveiled today at the Colombian Congress, Bogota, to support Bill 244 which, after successful consideration in the House of Representatives, is about to go before the Senate.

The new video presented by Colombian actress Margarita Ortega reveals:

  • A circus worker repeatedly hitting, and shouting at, an elephant
  • Violence inflicted on tigers, elephants, and ponies
  • Llamas being wrestled with and hit
  • Dogs, tigers and a horse displaying disturbed repetitive behavior
  • A mandrill desperately screaming whilst attempting to escape from his cage

ADI Vice President Tim Phillips: “The findings of ADI’s latest investigation reveal, yet again, that animals continue to endure violent abuse in circuses across Colombia. Nothing has changed since our 2007 investigation, which so shocked the Colombian people, so it is vital that the proposed Bill progresses through Parliament swiftly to end the suffering of these animals as soon as possible.”

“Since ADI launched our major investigation of the South American circus industry Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay have all introduced prohibitions on the use of animals in circuses, as have a number of European countries. This brings the total number of bans around the world to over 20.”

Today’s event at the Colombian Congress, backed by a huge coalition of Colombian animal protection groups, featured human circus performers and made the point circuses are not only more enjoyable, but thrive, without animals. The colourful display contrasts with the disturbing presentations of abuse in Colombian circuses.

The Bill to ban the use of animals in circuses has been unanimously approved in both committee and plenary stages of the House of Representatives and will now be debated in the Senate.

Elsewhere, the Dutch and British Governments have confirmed that they plan to ban the use of wild animals in traveling circuses, whilst Bills for such bans are also before the Congresses of the USA and Brazil.

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