Stop Circus Suffering

Norway says NO to wild animal circus acts!

Norwegian government has published new regulations which will effectively end the use of wild animals in circuses.

On Friday, 9 September 2016, the Norwegian government published new regulations which will effectively end the use of wild animals in circuses. It follows years of campaigning by our Stop Circus Suffering partner NOAH, supported by ADI since our joint national campaign launch in 2005 with a new video of behind-the-scenes suffering.

The regulation take effect January 2017, will require circuses to get the permission of Norway’s Food Safety Agency to perform with animals. A positive list of species allowed excludes elephants and most wild animals, who the Agency has stated it will not permit the use of. In a move long supported by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute wild animal circus acts will effectively be prohibited.

At the ADI-NOAH Oslo press conference we unveiled the video Tvunget til å underholde ‘Forced to entertain’ supported by renowned elephant expert Joyce Poole and cartoonist Lise Myhre, actors Ane Dahl Torp and Karl Sundby, and singer Mari Vestbø. The launch followed the publication of a Government White Paper on animal welfare that concluded the natural needs of animals must be taken into account.

Encouraging proposals to ban the use of elephants were announced in 2009 but several years passed with little progress. NOAH kept up the pressure, supported by ADI, organising circus protests and presenting evidence of suffering to politicians and the media.

In 2012, instead of progressing the ban, the Food Safety Agency was instructed to work on a system of regulation for animal circuses. A consultation followed and the findings, published in 2013, unsurprisingly confirmed overwhelming support for a ban rather than regulations. Support from the Agency itself for a ban was also further strengthened.

In 2014, the first local authority, Tromsø, passed a wild animal circus ban and a new video “Some call it entertainment” was released by NOAH featuring Joyce Poole and highlighting the continued suffering of elephants in Norway. As a result of their efforts, other local authorities followed Tromsø’s lead, leading to a breakthrough in the campaign.

ADI and NOAH welcome Norway to the growing list of European and global nations, 32 and growing, saying no to circus suffering.

Find out how YOU can help campaign against circus suffering.


  1. lee · 12 September 2016 at 1:56a

    OMG this is one of the most beautiful exciting news i ever heard positive about helping the animals. Oh God Thanks so much in Jesus Name I keep praying and thanking the lord the heavens Amen and Amen. It will be so beautiful if it would happen here in the united states. Oh lord let it happen every where in the world no more acts in the circus with wild animals thanks in jesus name I pray Amen and Amen.

    Thanks you guys and woman as well.

Leave a comment on this story

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.