Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Colombia moves closer to circus animal ban

Posted: 9 May 2013. Updated: 15 May 2013


May 8, 2012, BOGOTA, COLOMBIA – The Colombian Senate’s Fifth Committee approved a draft bill to end the use of animals in traveling circuses. The 8 to 1 committee vote (4 absent) sends the Bill to the plenary session and was welcomed by Animal Defenders International (ADI), following a six-year campaign after their undercover investigators exposed cruelty and suffering in Colombia’s circuses.

Bill 244, 2012, introduced by Senator Juan de Jesús Córdoba and supported by Senator Camilo Sanchez, Rep. Hugo Velasquez, and President of the House of Representativas Augusto Posada, prohibits the use of animals in circuses. The Committee heard evidence from Eduardo Peña, ADI South America Campaign Coordinator and representatives of the animal circus industry.

Senator Cordoba urged the Fifth Committee members to support the Bill, saying "The passage of this bill would prevent the public health and safety problems triggered by animal circuses.”

The Bill has widespread public support as well as a number of Colombian public authorities, celebrities and organizations.

Eduardo Peña, ADI South America Campaigns Coordinator, “We urge approval of this important initiative. It is not opposed to circuses, we want to see more humane shows for the benefit of the animals, the people who work in the circus and the public. Audiences can enjoy talented human performances, and cut out the suffering.”

ADI’s investigation horrified the public and exposed: abuse of elephants, tigers, ponies, llamas and shockingly, an elderly female chimpanzee screaming as she is repeatedly punched in the face and beaten with a chain. Dogs, tigers and a horse displayed abnormal, stereotypic behavior, indicating suffering due to deprivation.

ADI President Jan Creamer: “People are shocked because every time we have sent our investigators to work undercover in the circus industry, they have found abuse. We now believe that the whole culture of the circus industry, worldwide, gives rise to the ill treatment of animals and poor environmental conditions are common. The animals exist to perform, with no regard for their welfare and intrinsic value.”

  • Find out more about our Stop Circus Suffering campaign in Colombia here
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