Animal Defenders International declared a victory for animals on July 21 when President Alan Garcia of Peru signed a law to ban all wild animals from the country’s circuses. The legislation was introduced after activists showed government officials that the animals were suffering.
Peru became the second country in South America, following Bolivia, to nationally end the practice and protect circus animals.
In their investigation, ADI and local animal protection groups in the region exposed how circus lions in Peru were being whipped and beaten and how monkeys, bears and other animals were housed in “deprived and appalling conditions.”
ADI Chief Executive Jan Creamer said in a press release, “We are absolutely delighted and applaud this bold move by President Garcia and the Congress of Peru. With the ban in Bolivia and the current discussions in Brazil, Ecuador and Columbia, there is no doubt that South America is leading the world on this issue.”
“Peru has looked at the evidence, the undercover investigations, the scientific reports and seen the suffering of the animals. The people of Peru have been adamant in their support of a ban, and both the Congress and President have listened.”
The legislation was introduced by Representatives Alexander Rebaza (APRA) and Jose Urquizo (Gana Peru). Congressman Urquizo is asking all “parliamentarians from all countries to follow the example of Peru and ban wild animals in circuses, ending the suffering of animals.”
Creamer said, “ADI will continue to work with the Government of Peru in preparation of regulations to implement the law.”
The investigation in Peru was part of ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering campaign which is active in more than 10 countries in Europe, North America and South America. The campaign seeks to: rescue suffering animals, expose cruelty, work for animal protection and educate the public.
In February 2011, the organization safely removed every animal from circuses in Bolivia and found new habitats for all of them. Twenty-nine lions were sent to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado where they now walk free on 80 acres.
Photo of lion saved from Bolivian circus courtesy of: Animal Defenders International