Join our call for a Europe-wide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses
ADI is calling for a Europe-wide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, as part of our international Stop Circus Suffering campaign and the new ‘EU Stop Circus Suffering’ campaign.
ADI is working with coalition Eurogroup for Animals, of which ADI is a member, to launch the campaign, which adopts the name of ADI’s global ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ campaign of more than 20 years.
23 member states of the European Union have already adopted national restrictions on the use of animals in circuses. In the US, more than 100 jurisdictions in 34 states have passed restrictions on the use animals in circuses, with New Jersey, Hawaii, and California passing statewide measures.
How the campaign is being won
Since the launch of the first investigation in 1992, ADI has produced hundreds of hours of video and witness evidence, exposing how circus animals, especially large wild animals, are highly stressed and live in constant fear. Day to day handling of the animals involves physical violence, fear and intimidation – the same brutality as when the animals are forced to perform. Circuses cannot meet the physical or behavioral needs of animals, especially wild animals.
Given the constant travel and their temporary nature, circuses simply cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. Welfare is always compromised.
ADI evidence, and other studies, have shown health and welfare of animals in circuses is compromised due to the necessarily small, barren, mobile accommodations, restriction of movement, long journeys and excessive periods of time shut away in transporters and containers with no environmental stimulation or ability to perform natural behaviours.
As a result, these animals often demonstrate abnormal behaviours – rocking, swaying, and pacing, indicating they are in distress and not coping with their environment.
Evidence from ADI’s investigations and campaigns with local partners have resulted in the closure of circuses, rescue of animals, and passage of regional and national bans on the use of circus animals in Europe, the UK, Latin America and elsewhere. 48 countries – nearly a quarter of the world’s nations – have taken action to restrict the use of animals in circuses to date.
Bans are being discussed in the US at federal, state and local level, and a Europe-wide ban adds momentum to this worldwide change in how humans treat the other species who share our planet. Cruelty and suffering of animals for just a few minutes of entertainment has no place in modern society.
A Savanta ComRes opinion poll for Eurogroup for Animals asked citizens in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain for their views on animals in circuses:
- 68% agree that the use of wild animals in circuses is cruel and that wild animals should not be used for public entertainment.
- 62% agree that the European Union should ban the use of all wild animals in circuses.
A Europe-wide ban is needed – due to the nature of traveling circuses, wild animals may still be transported across member states where bans exist. These movements pose severe threats to public safety and animal welfare.
Eurogroup for Animals’ report ‘Wild Animals in Circuses: Problems, Risks and Solutions’ provides further evidence and offers solutions to support a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. ADI helped contribute data and evidence to the report.
The updated report, originally published in 2017, details 24 years of incidents involving the public and wild animals in EU circuses. It includes an overview of current laws and restrictions on the use of circus animals in EU member states, with emphasis on the enforcement of those laws.
The report also includes a list of animal rescue centres and sanctuaries that are appropriate to assist with the rescue of circus animals once bans are implemented. Read the report here.
You can help:
- Join the nearly one million citizens who have signed a petition asking the European Commission to ban wild animals in circuses across the EU.
- Add your voice to the campaign call on Twitter, using hashtags #EUStopCircusSuffering and #stopcircussuffering. Please tag @animaldefenders