The Colombian Congress voted Wednesday to ban the use of wild animals in any travelling or stationary circuses. They continued to say, “After a six-year public campaign that included scientific reviews and exposed extreme abuse of circus animals through undercover investigations, Colombia joined four other South American countries (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay) to ban their use.”
The Animal Defenders International (ADI) led the campaign as part of its global Stop Circus Suffering initiative, and the organization expressed its delight that the years of undercover investigations, scientific reviews, public debates, and awareness-raising days had resulted in the ban being secured.
Bill 244, 2012 sought to prohibit all animals in circuses; however, domestic species were excluded in the Senate according to the ADI report released Wednesday.
The ADI had been working undercover for two years in South American circuses, making notes on the poor conditions that the animals were normally contained in.
These poor conditions included “deprived environments, small cages, psychological suffering and the violent and brutal treatment of animals when being handled and trained.”
Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI said in the report:
“We congratulate the Colombian Congress for approving this Bill and are delighted that Colombia has shown that animals should not suffer for our entertainment.
“ADI stands ready to assist with rescue and relocation of the animals, whenever the Government of Colombia requires assistance.
“After this momentous decision, it is important that these animals are allowed to live out their days, free from the circus and the suffering they have endured.”
ADI’s campaigns coordinator for Latin America, Eduardo Peña stated in the report:
“Now circuses have the opportunity to strengthen human talent, support the Colombian Government’s ethical position and evolve shows that respects human values and protect nature.”
Overall, the campaign extended their thanks to everyone who helped make this possible.
Peña stated: “Our warmest thanks and congratulations go to more than 50 national animal protection organizations who helped with this bill, and of course the individuals, celebrities, academics, officials, congressmen, artists and non-animal circuses who joined with us to stop animal suffering in circuses in Colombia.
ADI also thanked Senator Camilo Sanchez and Juan de Jesus Cordoba in their report Wednesday for all of their assistance.
Circuses will have two years to comply with the new legislation in which Colombia bans the use of wild animals in circuses.