Stop Circus Suffering

Wild animals in circuses – time for a change in Europe

The evidence is clear – wild animals suffer in travelling circuses and present a public safety risk, with a ban on their use a proportionate and popular measure.

ADI studies worldwide show a consistent pattern of confinement, deprivation and physical abuse in animal circuses. Stressed wild animals suffer in small, barren, mobile facilities in circuses that also represent a threat to public safety. Escaped animals have maimed and killed workers and members of the public, including children.

In support of an EU-wide ban, the conference “Use of Wild Animals in Circuses: Time for a Change” was held on 28 March 2017 and co-hosted by Marlène Mizzi MEP (Malta, S&D), the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, and Eurogroup for Animals, of which ADI is an active member.

Introducing the event, Marlène Mizzi MEP (S&D) said her country Malta had adopted an animal circus ban “as our government recognizes that circuses do not, by any means, provide a suitable environment for animals to express normal behavioural patterns, nor provide suitable shelter or protecting from pain and suffering”.

Gaia Angelini of LAV (pictured), who ADI is working with to secure an animal circus prohibition in Italy (find out more here), Sergio Vistarini, and Cristiano Turchetti of The Censis Foundation, spoke of the socio-economic impacts of a proposed ban in Italy, where there is currently no restrictions on the use of animals in circuses.

Gloria Lorenzo Lerones from the Directorate General of Culture and Creativity presented the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme which provides opportunities for contemporary circus arts.

Stéphane Seguro-Aguilar outlined how Circostrada, a contemporary circus network, is working to create a sustainable future for circus and street arts.

Nancy De Briyne of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) set out why the needs of wild mammals cannot be met within a travelling circus.

Michel Vandenbosch of GAIA outlined how unworkable regulations led to a ban in Belgium.

Ilaria Di Silvestre of Eurogroup for Animals (pictured) highlighted the animal welfare issues and public security and safety risks, concluding with ADI’s compelling video evidence showing the failings of a system of regulation and inspections, and their inability to identify animal abuse.

The evidence is clear – wild animals suffer in travelling circuses and present a public safety risk, with a ban on their use a proportionate and popular measure.

Coincidentally, the launch of the EU campaign was held on the same day as the launch in the US Congress, of the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA), a bill to end the use of wild animals in circuses. Click here for TEAPSPA launch report.

As shown by the growth and support for contemporary acts, the future of circus is one without animals.

Join the revolution today!

  • Ask your MEP to support an EU-wide ban on wild animals in circuses.
  • Support circuses without animals, which can be enjoyed by all!
  • Speak out when an animal circus comes to town and let them know why you will not be visiting.
  • Support our global Stop Circus Suffering campaign!


  1. I, Vanderm · 30 March 2017 at 3:54a


  2. Auro Limon · 30 March 2017 at 3:54a

    No más circos.

  3. Albert Mueller · 30 March 2017 at 3:54a

    Greed before humanity!
    The frozen compassion of humans!
    It seems that people only care about themselves;
    they have absolutely no respect for Animals, their life’s means nothing to them, unless they can put it into profit!

  4. Sigrid Müller · 30 March 2017 at 3:54a

    Let them free, this is animal abuse

  5. Sharon Stribling · 30 March 2017 at 3:54a

    The governments can stop this barbaric cruelty to animals. By banning all animals from circuses now
    And if the public stopped fuelling such cruelty they wouldn’t have the funds to continue.

  6. Sharon Stribling · 30 March 2017 at 3:54a

    Why is the government stalling on this surely it does not take much to ban this cruelty in all countries.
    Get these animals into sanctuaries to live there lives as normal as they can. Come on government hurry up and get this barbaric cruelty banned now!!!

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