Stop Circus Suffering

Netherlands to ban wild animals in circuses

As world opinion turns against the use of animals in circuses, the UK must finally act or can no longer call itself a progressive country when it comes to animal welfare

Signalling a sea change in public attitudes, The Netherlands has announced today that it is to prohibit wild animals in circuses. ADI is pleased that sea lions have been included in the ban, having supported efforts by our friends at Wilde Dieren de Tent Uit to show their welfare is compromised and ensure that legislation progressed.

The move comes just 2 days after Mexico passed a historic wild animal circus ban and ADI believes marks the beginning of the end for wild animals in circuses. 30 countries have now passed laws to nationally restrict the use of animals in travelling circuses.

Jan Creamer, President of ADI: “This is wonderful news from the Netherlands and Mexico this week. The use of animals in travelling circuses is cruel, outdated, and that is now recognised in legislation in 30 countries. Animal Defenders International hopes that this will be a wake up call to the UK Government to bring in the ban it drafted, and promised the public, over two years ago. We are seeing a worldwide change in what it is considered acceptable to do to animals in the name of entertainment. The UK once led on such matters now it is lagging woefully behind.”

Presented with evidence of the suffering circus animals endure behind the scenes, as exposed by ADI in circuses across Europe, the US and South America, members of the public are consistently choosing to avoid animal circus acts and governments around the world are taking action to eliminate the suffering. It is also now widely acknowledged that animal acts provide no educational or conservational benefit and that circuses can thrive without animal acts.

ADI previously enforced the ban on animals in circuses in Bolivia, rescuing 29 lions and other animals. ADI teams are currently in Peru and Colombia working with the authorities there to enforce bans on wild animals in circuses – to date 30 lions and various other animals have been rescued in its mission  Operation Spirit of Freedom.

Take action and help us win for the animals

  • Help make an animal circus ban in your country a reality. Tell your Members of Congress, Members of Parliament, City Councillors what is happening around the world and call for a ban now.
  • ADI is rescuing circus animals in Peru and Colombia right now as we help enforce the law – help bring them to sanctuary – make a donation US $  and UK £
  • Sign our petition urging the Prime Minister to back the British bill to ban wild animals in circuses (you can also do so via Care2)
  • Watch lions being saved by ADI from circuses in Bolivia in the action-packed documentary Lion Ark – book tickets for our UK screenings here


  1. Ingrid Franks · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    the suffering of animals has to stop! How can we hold our heads high when we allow wild animals to be displayed in an unnatural way?

  2. Andrew Forshaw · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    follow the lead David, if you want my vote.

  3. alan mitchell · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    Cruel to keep animals locked up.

  4. Lisa Birks · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    It’ is a disgrace that in this day and age animals are still used for entertainment! We all have to take responsibility, lobbying i government and never attending a circus!

  5. Mary Morgan · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    No-one alive and with any sense of justice should need to be asked to ban these appalling acts of cruelty for human “entertainment!”
    In 21st century, we know without any doubt that it is wrong on so many levels. Our policy makers have a duty to stamp this out – NOW.

  6. Laura Savill · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    If other countries to ban animals in circus why cannot the UK now bring it forth as your government promised!

  7. Helen Ratcliff · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    When you see the suffering and abuse wild animals are subjected to, you see it is time for change, which should have happened long a go. The U.K. Is an animal loving and respecting nation. Why, then, is our Government dragging heels? Please open your eyes! Stop the exploitation of animals used in the entertainment industry. It is unethical and cruel. It is crucial to address this. Please stop ignoring important animal welfare issues. They were not put on this earth at Humans’ disposal. Show some compassion.

  8. Renate Müller · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    Tiere gehören nicht in den Zirkus

  9. Ricky Leung · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    Good job ADI. No wild animals in circuses.

  10. Mary LAM · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    I am so thankful & relieved to hear such good news; keep on working..

  11. Katherine Legg · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    This should have already happened

  12. Sherri Morningstar · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    Now is the time to act for the animals.There is no room in the world for these animal abusers.

  13. LouAnnJohnson · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    Please stop the cruelty to animals. They don’t deserve to live caged up.They deserve to live free and not hunted for their fur or to eat either.

  14. quidouce veronique · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a


  15. Holly Owsianik · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    Please ban all animals from circuses. It is no life for animals to enjoy.

  16. Tatum Tulloch · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    Stop all cruelty to animals now, they have emotions and feelings too

  17. Kristin Yates · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    Please abolish the use of animals in circuses.

  18. Susanne Forster · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    PLEASE stopp wild animals @the circus! ! That is against the (ir) nature and cruel!!!

  19. Sandy Schnurr · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    It is time for animal acts in circuses to be relegated to history, just like human freak shows

  20. Sandy Schnurr · 13 December 2014 at 11:18a

    It is time for animal acts in circuses to be relegated to history, like human freak shows.

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