Wild animals: Not circus acts

Colombia’s legislature bans use of wild animals in circuses

Colombian legislators passed a bill on June 12 that eventually will ban the use of wild animals in both traveling and non-traveling circuses.

Bill 244, 2012, was passed six years after Animal Defenders International launched a public campaign aimed at exposing the widespread suffering of animals used as circus acts in Colombia, according to an ADI press release. The organization’s undercover investigators spent two years in South America documenting the circuses’ poor animal environments, small cages, and violent handling and training methods.

Since the campaign—which included scientific reviews, awareness-raising days and public debates—was launched in 2007, similar bans have been enacted in Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru.

Though the ban sought to stop the use of all animals in Colombian circuses, domestic species were excluded in the Senate. Circuses will have two years to comply with the law.