Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Colombia Takes Another Step Towards Circus Animal Ban

Posted: 15 May 2013. Updated: 15 May 2013

On May 8th, 2013, Senate Commission V of Colombia amended and approved the draft law (Law 244/12) banning the use of animals in circuses, allowing Plenary to pass this initiative. The committee vote was seven in favour and none against.

Draft Law 244/12, which was amended to exclude domestic animals, previously had banned the use of all animals in circuses, but will prohibit all wild animals from circuses. The transition period for implementing the law was also increased to two years.

Undercover investigations of ADI exposing cruelty and suffering in circuses in Colombia have horrified people throughout the country, leading to popular support for the ban.

Senator Juan de Jesus Cordoba, who presented the Bill, said: "The passage of this bill would avoid the problems of public health and safety caused by animal circuses in the country. This bill has broad support from the public, the Colombian authorities, celebrities and organizations."

Eduardo Peña, ADI Campaigns Coordinator in South America, said "We ask the plenary senators to approve this important initiative and we stress that this Bill is not against circuses, on the contrary, our goal is humane and human only shows, benefiting animals, people, the environment and giving greater entertainment. Similarly, we emphasize that circuses, in order to access the benefits of Arts Act 1493 of 2011, shall not include any species of animal in the show."

ADI’s investigations in Colombia have revealed: the abuse of elephants, tigers, horses, llamas, and an elderly female chimpanzee screaming because of repeated blows with a chain on her face. Dogs, tigers and horses show abnormal stereotypied behaviour, indicating that they suffer from deprivation and confinement. ADI is disappointed that the Bill will not protect the domestic animals which suffer in these circuses, but eliminating the suffering of wild animals will be an important step.

ADI President Jan Creamer said: "Our team has worked undercover in circuses all over the world, including Colombia, the USA, Europe, and we have consistently filmed and exposed the physical abuse and confinement of animals. If this Bill passes, Colombia will be the latest country to eliminate this suffering.”

The main author of the Bill, House Representative Augusto Posada said: "I am extremely happy with the step taken today by the Commission V Senate. In Colombia, we are recognizing biodiversity, respect for the environment and wildlife; the step taken recognizes that social change for the respect of others. I’m optimistic that the Senate Plenary will approve the project and finally, in Colombia, we will have circuses without animals."

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