START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,383,526 people care about Politics

Mexico City Bans Circus Animals in Shows

Mexico City Bans Circus Animals in Shows

The idea of using animals in the circus has been controversial for some time. Although some circus employees insist they use humane methods, and form incredible bonds with the animals, numerous activist groups claim that abuse happens more often than not.

Recently, Mexico City has decided that any instance of abuse was simply too much. They’ve joined six other states within the country, banning animals in circus acts.

The fines for those who fail to comply are substantial, and up to 65,000 USD will be extracted from any entertainment group that includes wild animals in their act. That said, some animal rights organizations claim the new law falls too short. Water parks and animals such as dolphins are exempt. Even more controversially, bullfighting will still be allowed within the city. Activists have also pointed out that the new law does not mandate that any circuses get rid of their animals, only that they cannot be used within shows.

These exemptions, especially bullfighting, which has been condemned as animal torture, have garnered criticism from circus groups.

Stephen Payne, who works as a spokesman for Ringling Brothers parent company, Feld Entertainment, issued a statement decrying the lack of consistency in the new law. “If their goal is animal welfare improvements, regulate them. Otherwise you’re just driving these circuses to look for venues outside the federal district.”

Circuses will have a year to remove their animal acts before the fines set in.

Almost without fail, every major animal rights group in the world opposes the use of animals in circus acts. Not only have animal abuses run rampant, but it also sets up an element of danger for the humans in and around these shows.

It’s easy to forget that animals, no matter how beautiful or adorable, are still wild animals. And even if trainers and circuses do treat them with the utmost respect and care, they can still snap. Once they’ve decided to make a break, larger animals, such as confused elephants, are nearly impossible to control or escape from. No matter how big your SUV is, to a 4,000 pound African elephant, it can easily turn into a plaything.

So when an elephant goes on a rampage it puts not only patrons attending the show in danger, but those out on the street as well. Just this year, three elephants belonging to Shrine Circus escaped in St. Louis and trampled a number of cars in the parking lot. Luckily, in this instance nobody was hurt.

However, this is hardly an isolated event. Trainers being killed and elephants escaping before sustaining injuries on busy highways or in parking lots is happening multiple times a year. In one 2010 escape from Cole Bros. Circus, an elephant named Viola bolted past ticket holders who were sent running into the parking lot. In the 30 minutes she was free, Viola broke her toenail and hurt her shoulder while slipping down a mud embankment into a ravine.

Back in Mexico City, the passing of this law was almost universally supported by the government. During the vote on the floor, there were 41 voters for the ban, zero voters against it, and 11 abstaining. Yet as soon as the press conference emptied, the circus employees began to rally.

A protest of more than 1,000 workers came out against the ban, claiming that this move will leave hundreds of families without work. Many argued that the animals were born in the circus and since it’s the only life they’ve ever known, it is a humane one.

However, this didn’t change the minds of groups such as Animal Circuses, who replies, “Regardless of the number of generations that wild animals have been in captivity, captive-born wild animals do not lose the instincts and needs of wild animals. They retain their natural instincts to socialise and to roam freely. Circuses deny captive-born wild animals of their need to exhibit their natural behaviours.”

And for many, regardless of the amount of love or respect some circuses bestow their animals, this simple fact that wild animals are brought up in cages without the ability to roam untamed and free, is enough to say no to animals in circuses.

Read more: , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

204 comments

+ add your own
8:33PM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

Nadya H. - I signed and shared the petition! Thanks!

8:29PM PDT on Sep 1, 2014

Good for you, Mexico! You are doing the right thing!
Now, let's keep working to stop the rest of the circuses!

9:41AM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

Please sign the petition in support of the Traveling Wild and Exotic Animal Protection Act. In summary, the act — A.5407 in the New York State Assembly and S.5971 in the Senate — would add Section 352 to the New York Agriculture and Markets Law to prohibit any:

…traveling circuses or show from including the participation of an exotic or wild animal, including a non-human primate, in an animal act if during the thirty day period preceding such participation, such animal was traveling in a mobile housing facility.

The petition can be found here:

http://www.change.org/petitions/gov-andrew-cuomo-support-the-traveling-wild-and-exotic-animal-protection-act?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=89270&alert_id=aeLwlXKjte_QXKBcpdV1UbbPp6FwtNef8zn0heS365c3H5KcKuo6exTPA6aQr0VwObX2ZBRknrJ

You can learn more about the Act and Circus Elephant Abuse here:

http://epolicypace.blogs.pace.edu/2014/07/03/1243/

10:26PM PDT on Jun 22, 2014

Good news. Thanks.

11:38PM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

So glad to hear this !!! :)

7:07PM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

ALL circuses should follow suit ... will they, no. And so the abuse continues. Problem is, that treatment becomes secretly accepted and that attitude moves forward to humans. It all begins with how we treat animals (Gandi).

2:58PM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

Thanks for posting.

1:51PM PDT on Jun 18, 2014

Animals live an unhappy life in circuses. We should be able to entertain ourselves without such a cost to animals.

12:50PM PDT on Jun 17, 2014

It's about time.

6:30AM PDT on Jun 17, 2014

great Mexico !!

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.