Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Stop Circus suffering Global Roundup Winter 2011

Posted: 22 February 2012. Updated: 16 March 2013

Following our recent exposé at Bobby Roberts Super Circus, several members of the European Parliament have taken steps to protect circus animal welfare at EU level. In response to a question from Charles Tannock MEP in May, the Commission clarified that it had no jurisdiction to deal with the issue and that it is a matter for the national authorities concerned. Similarly, Graham Watson MEP asked the Commission what it was doing to enforce animal welfare standards in European zoos and circuses. The Commission replied that: “circuses are specifically excluded from the scope of the Zoos Directive, and not covered by any other EU legislation. Therefore, the welfare of circus animals remains the responsibility of the Member States”. We continue to monitor any activity at EU level.
Click here to read more about the Bobby Roberts trial.


As well as holding regular demonstrations at circuses across Ireland, our Irish partners Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) have supported our UK campaign. ARAN are also currently planning a nationwide tour of schools with exciting new campaign materials. ARAN demonstration pictured right

In June Cirkus Krone filed a complaint before the Austrian Constitutional Court challenging the legality of the ban on wild animals in circuses. This followed incorrect claims made by minister Jim Paice MP about the possibility of such a case. We immediately got in touch with the Federal Chancellor, who is acting as the opponent party of the complaint, and submitted a briefing with legal and political arguments to assist the defence. We will continue to monitor the case.

The Hessen region is considering a ban on the keeping and use of certain species of wild animals in circuses such as monkeys, elephants, bears, giraffes, hippos and rhinos. An initiative was first considered in 2003, but did not progress. We contacted the Hessen authorities with supporting evidence, including our report Science on Suffering, a Stop Circus Suffering DVD and our review of the scientific literature on the effects of captivity and transport on wild animals.

Following an intense campaign led by ADI and our campaign partners, the Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF), the draft animal protection bill was published in July by the Ministry of Agriculture and Foods. The draft includes a ban on the use of all animals in circuses as well as provisions on humane stray management, tail docking and neutering programmes. GAWF met earlier in the year with the junior minister, Mrs Milena Apostolaki, to discuss key issues of the legislation. Currently, the draft bill is pending the signature of the minister before being introduced in parliament.
UPDATE: Greece bans animal circuses. Click here to read more.

Our campaign partner NOAH is currently putting pressure on the government to implement a ban. The package will include the Stop Circus Suffering Norway DVD, updated with NOAH’s new logo. The video will be sent to key politicians, celebrities and media.

There are of course no animal circuses in Bolivia, but we continue to support the draft legislation on animal protection.

The bill to ban the use of animals in circuses is currently pending debate in the Chamber of Deputies. The President of the Chamber appears to be delaying the debate so the ADI team is meeting with congress members to ask them to write, to maintain the pressure.
We are currently organising a meeting with the President to present a public petition in support of the ban.


A new bill banning animals in circuses has been introduced in the Chamber of Representatives of the Colombian Congress. Bill No. 052 was drafted by ADI and sponsored by Congressman Augusto Posada. We have been lobbying to get cross-party co-sponsors and the bill has been signed by 19 members so far. We expect the bill to have its first reading soon.
Over 4,000 people marched alongside the ADI team in Bogotá in May to support the ban on animals in circuses and the reform of the animal protection law. Congress members and local politicians from all parties attended, as did high profile celebrities such as soap opera actress Margarita Ortega. Representatives of ADI and local groups then went into the Congress with a statement supporting the new legislation.
ADI hold weekly information stalls throughout Bogotá and we recently received a commendation by the Colombian Police in recognition of our "leadership in the development of activities for the protection of animals". Photo: March in Bogotá

In March, we held a press conference in Quito, and screened our Unnatural Acts video. We also met with the vice-minister for the Environment and his team to discuss a resolution to ban animals in circuses. The Ministry expressed support. We continue to campaign and have met with local groups in Guayaquil and Cuenca, and with local environment authorities to gain regional support. We have also begun a census of circus animals.

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