More progress on the protection of animals.
The circus is a great form of family entertainment. There are jugglers, clowns, acrobats, tightrope walkers and... performing animals. Butshould animals be in circuses? Some say no.
Animals have traditionally appeared in circuses. In ancient Rome, there were horse and chariot races and re-enactments of battles that involved hundredsof horses and even elephants – not to mention the notorious fights between defenceless Christians and hungry lions. These days, many circus acts include lions, seals, tigers and elephants. But somefeel that this should stop.
Animal rights organisations are firmly against the use of animals in circuses. They argue that animals do not naturally ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance onballs, or jump through rings of fire. And when they do, it’s after months of training with whips, sticks and even electric prods. Circus animals must also live in filthy, poorly-ventilated boxcars forhours on end – sometimes for as long as 100 hours when the circus travels. “It’s as if you were asked to spend the rest of your life living in your bathroom,” a spokesperson for PETA said.
Manycountries have banned or restricted the use of animals in entertainment. These include Sweden, Austria, Costa Rica, India, Finland and Singapore. And now Bolivia has joined the list. The new law in Boliviadefines the use of animals in circuses as an act of cruelty. The law was proposed after an undercover investigation. The London-based group Animal Defenders International (ADI), in collaboration witha local Bolivian group, filmed mistreatment of animals by poorly-paid and badly-trained staff. “If they wanted an animal to move, their immediate reaction was to kick, punch or push it,” a spokesmanfor the organisation said. Circus operators have one year from the bill’s passage on 1st July 2009 to comply. “At present, there are about 50 animals in national and international circuses in...