Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

More national bans on animal circuses, local ordinances and investigations...

Posted: 18 December 2013. Updated: 7 January 2014


VICTORY! Croatia has introduced a nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. Congratulations to all of the campaigners who fought hard for this and who had already secured bans in 30 towns and cities.

VICTORY! Cyprus has banned the use of animals in circuses. The circus animals forced to travel by boat from island to island endure a particularly miserable existence, so this is an important victory, making Cyprus a ‘no animals’ territory.

A STEP CLOSER. Belgium: A Bill introduced by the Deputy Prime Minister to ban wild animals in circuses awaits parliamentary approval.

VICTORY! Ireland/Northern Ireland: The ADI and ARAN Stop Circus Suffering Ireland campaign clocked up another victory, securing a ban on wild animals in circuses in Arklow, County Wicklow. ADI and ARAN have also welcomed news that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will “investigate the possibility of an ‘All-Island’ approach to the issue of wild animals in traveling circuses.” Meanwhile Duffy’s Circus announced it is “the end of an era,” admitting “one wrong move…can be fatal” as it abandoned big cat acts. Sadly, the Thomas Chipperfield lions and tigers headed to England. Meanwhile, coming from England to join Courtney Brothers Circus were the tigers previously with the Great British Circus. These moves show how the animal circus industry is struggling but, also, it is a warning to campaigners that there is still work to do because the animal circuses will keep trying to adapt to survive.

EXPOSED. Estonia: A horrific video in June 2013 shows Medi, an elephant, dying of heart failure whilst bathing in a lake in Narva after a circus performance. The video shows a circus worker standing on Medi seemingly unaware that she is in trouble. Concerns about her health had previously been raised. ADI is supporting the Estonian Society for the Protection of Animals and In the Name of the Animals’ campaign to win justice for Medi and a ban on animals in circuses in Estonia.

EXPOSED. France: ADI is delighted to announce that our Stop Circus Suffering video is now available in French through a collaboration with French organisation Code Animal. ADI has previously conducted several undercover investigations in France exposing abuse of circus animals and is pleased that with Code Animal this will be the start of a major drive in a country with a significant circus industry (including being a haven for disgraced English circus owners).

EXPOSED. Germany: Footage from ADI investigations is proving vital for German campaigners. PETA Germany have used clips from our Bobby Roberts and Great British Circus exposés in two new campaign videos. A German version of ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering video has been provided to ‘Initiative wildtierfreier Zirkus Halle’ who are working for a ban in the city of Halle on the Saale. More city bans are also being pursued in Germany.

A STEP CLOSER. Malta: ADI made a detailed submission to a government consultation on animals in circuses - 94% of respondents backed a ban - and on the draft bill which would ban wild animals.

Norway: There has been little progress advancing the elephant ban proposed in 2009, and the government is now looking into a regulatory system, which we have shown cannot safeguard animal welfare. Our campaign partner NOAH is calling for Baba the elephant – captured from the wild over 40 years ago – and Norway’s circus elephants, to be freed.

Slovakia: ADI is working with Sloboda zvierat to end circus cruelty in Slovakia. A petition calling for a ban has already secured 30,000 signatures and Sloboda zvierat are presently collating national legislation implemented by European countries on the issue at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture.

VICTORY! Australia: Congratulations to Hobsons Bay Council, Victoria, for banning circuses with exotic animals. Sadly, despite a strong campaign, a similar ban was overturned by Gold Coast Council.

South Africa: ADI is working with the National Council of SPCAs and ‘No to Animals in Circuses and Captivity’, who are actively campaigning against the use of wild animals in circuses at a local and national level.

VICTORY! India: Elephants have been included in India’s circus ban. In 1998 the government prohibited the use of lions, tigers, panthers, monkeys and bears. ADI provided funding for cages to relocate some of these animals. Now the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has announced that in light of the “cruelties and abuse” suffered by elephants in circuses, that it is to ban the use of elephants. The AWBI also stated in August its intention to ban ALL animals within a year.

Qatar: A 6-year-old boy has suffered injuries to his neck and chest after being attacked by a young leopard at the Royal Circus in Qatar during a photo opportunity at the Hyatt Plaza in Doha. The circus has been canceled. The attack highlights only too well how circuses compromise both human safety and animal welfare.

© Animal Defenders International 2019