The Ukraine, in Eastern Europe, currently hosts dozens of animal circuses and shows. With proposals to ban the use of animals in circuses under discussion in parliament, could an end to the suffering finally be in sight?
Animal Defenders International is teaming with UAnimals to support the proposals and work to stop circus suffering in the Ukraine. A number of city-wide animal circus bans have already been secured across the country and, indicating changing attitudes, more than a thousand concerned citizens rallied with UAnimals in support of a ban in the country’s capital of Kiev in April 2017.
What’s wrong with using animals in circuses?
Circuses cannot meet the physical or behavioural needs of animals. Animals are confined in small spaces, deprived of physical and social needs, and spend excessive time shut in trailers. These animals often demonstrate abnormal behaviours – rocking, swaying, and pacing, indicating they are in distress and not coping with their environment. ADI’s video evidence shows how these animals are forced to perform tricks through physical violence, fear, and intimidation.
For over twenty years, ADI has published studies incorporating the scientific, economic, legal research and empirical evidence (film, photographs) detailing the suffering of animals in circuses worldwide.
Our findings are backed by the science. An expert analysis of scientific evidence undertaken by Professor Stephen Harris at Bristol University concludes, “The available scientific evidence indicates that captive wild animals in circuses….do not achieve their optimal welfare requirements.” Its findings include that most animal performances “focus on tricks that do not reflect natural behaviours” and that “Traditional animal training methods are coercive and based on force and aggression”.
Animal circuses also present a public safety risk. Workers and members of the public have been killed and maimed, and animals have escaped. In May 2017, during a circus performance in the Ukraine, a bear ran from the ring into the crowd, attacking a member of the audience. The ensuing panic caused a stampede as spectators rushed to leave.
Time for change in the Ukraine.
The use of animals in circuses provides no educational or conservation value and forcing these animals to perform, and allowing this suffering in the name of entertainment, is completely unacceptable in a modern, civilized and advanced society.
With over 30 countries, more than half in Europe, having already passed national restrictions banning animals in circuses, it’s time for the Ukraine to act.