Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

City of Winnipeg to Restrict Use of Exotic Animals in Circuses

Posted: 29 March 2013. Updated: 29 March 2013

This May, councillors in the City of Winnipeg, Canada are set to discuss a new responsible-animal bylaw that would restrict the use of exotic animals in circuses.

It is reported that Canadian municipalities have now passed similar legislation and Winnipeg is expected to follow suit.

If this bylaw is approved, circuses in Winnipeg “will only be able to exhibit or use dogs, cats, commercial animals” and other non-exotic species.

St. James-Brooklands Coun. Scott Fielding, chair of Winnipegís protection and community services committee, said "We’re coming up to the same standard as other cities. I don’t think it’s unreasonable."

Proposed in January, the new bylaw was laid over due to dissatisfaction within the animal-services industry regarding proposed rules about house cats. Fielding expects an amended bylaw to continue including the provisions governing exotic animals, with one amendment: the chief operating officer of Animal Services may be handed the authority to grant a special permit for an exotic animal to visit the city.

"I wasn’t crazy about the wording," Fielding said. "I thought there could be a way to look at things on a case-by-case basis.”

Fielding pledged that this change, however, is not intended to serve as a loophole to continue to allow circuses to employ exotic animals.

Animal Services COO Leland Gordon was not available for comment, but his earlier report to council suggested promoters will adjust by booking circuses that focus on human entertainers or non-exotic animals.

"Contact with local organizations that sponsor circuses suggest that this would not entail a significant change from current practice," the report stated.

ADI President, Jan Creamer: ďADI congratulates Winnipeg City Council for taking such a progressive step, joining municipalities all over the world to end the suffering of these animals and protect public safety. We urge the Cityís councillors to vote for the bylaw this May.Ē

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