Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Colombia moves closer to circus animal ban

Posted: 8 May 2013. Updated: 7 July 2014

May 8, 2013, 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.”




Film and photographs of animals in circuses are available from ADI

ADI Media Desk: 323-804-9920 e:

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 being “some of the most sickening we have seen.” Since the launch of the investigations, bans have been introduced in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay.

National measures to restrict either all or wild animals in circuses are in place in over 20 countries, including: 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 Kingdom, United States, Netherlands, Malta, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Norway.

Watch our South America ‘Unnatural Acts’ video here.

Animal Defenders International
With offices in London, Los Angeles, 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.

© Animal Defenders International 2019