Stop Circus Suffering

Portuguese TV station “SIC” uses circus animals in its celebration party

Portuguese TV station organised parade in the biggest avenue in Lisbon to celebrate its 14th anniversary… and used circus animals that were forced to parade in this live miserable show.

Last Saturday, the Portuguese TV station “SIC” organised a big parade in the biggest avenue in Lisbon to celebrate its 14th anniversary… and it used African elephants, tigers, lions, zebroid, camels, a python and other circus animals that were forced to parade in this live miserable show.

On October 4th 2005, ANIMAL and Animal Defenders International launched the international “Stop Circus Suffering” campaign in Portugal. These two groups did an exposé showing footage obtained inside Portuguese circuses, with clear evidence presented of circus directors and workers violently training their animals, and presenting extensive and solid evidence of the cruel and illegal handling and housing of both wild and domestic animals in Portuguese circuses, reinforcing what ADI had already observed in many other countries where its field officers investigated the cruel treatment of animals in circuses.

One year after the launch of this campaign, and despite all the social change in the way the Portuguese people now view the use of animals in circuses due to this campaigning and education work, the Portuguese TV station SIC decided to organise a big parade in the biggest avenue in Lisbon to celebrate its 14th anniversary, bringing African elephants, tigers, lions, zebroids, camels, a python and other circus animals to this show, which has happened last Saturday. The animals belonged to Circo Chen (one of the circuses that was investigated by ADI/ANIMAL) and to Animales Rompeolas, a Spanish company which provides exotic animals for advertising, TV, films and other commercial purposes.

Despite the many e-mails and phone calls that SIC has received from ANIMAL´s supporters, and despite their knowledge about ADI/ANIMAL´s findings as to the cruelty to animals in Portuguese circuses that was observed and extensively documented, SIC said that they not only had done this parade – “which involved no cruelty to animals”, they claimed –, but they still plan to organise their annual Christmas party in an animal circus (which usually is Circo Victor Hugo Cardinali, where the ADI/ANIMAL team filmed Victor Hugo Cardinali, the circus owner and director, repeatedly jabbing an elephant in the eyes and in the face with an elephant-hook).

One year has gone since all this cruelty has been exposed, but the Government and both the CITES and veterinary authorities take no action whatsoever against this, while all the three main Portuguese TV stations keep promoting animal circuses, with SIC now leading them, while the other two stations, TVI and RTP, have broadcasted, this year alone, 12 bullfights (whereas, in previous years, they usually broadcasted “only” 5 bullfights).

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