Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

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

Posted: 16 November 2012. Updated: 16 November 2012

Animal Defenders International (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 countrie. 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.


Media contact
Angie Greenaway, Animal Defenders International
Tel: 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548

Supporting organizations
The event was organised by Animal Defenders International with the support of a host of organisations/individuals including: Augusto Posada Representative, Senator Camilo Sanchez FOA, Fundación Amigos del Planeta, ADA, Amigos por la Protección Animal, Fundación MIA, Protección Animal Javeriana, Agenda Animal, Bios, ADAN, Defensa Animal, EduCambiente, Fedamco, CLAN, AnimaNaturalis, ORCA, Econciencia, Ceaps, REN, Fundación Patitas de la Calle, Revolución de la Cuchara, Vida Silvestre, Voces Animales, Muro de Espuma, Chigüiro Estudio, Hosanna, Abogados O.M.M, entre otras organizaciones y defensores independientes.FOA.

Stop Circus Suffering Colombia campaign
The ADI campaign to ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ in Colombia was launched in 2007 with a screening of our first investigation, the images from which – we stated at the time – were “some of the most sickening we have seen”. They included a chimpanzee called Karla being punched in the face and beaten with a chain. The launch was part of a pan-South American campaign which has since seen circus bans introduced in Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay.

Watch our Unnatural Acts investigation here

National measures to restrict either all or wild animals in circuses, have been adopted in Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Slovakia, Sweden, Portugal, Taiwan, Singapore, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Costa Rica, India and Israel. Similar laws are being discussed in the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Norway.

Animal Defenders International
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.

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