Legal Ban of Keeping Animals in Circuses
The Animal Protection Act prohibits one to "keep wild animals in circuses and use them in circus performances and other performances involving animals." (Art. 53, Par. 1). Animal Friends believes that this provision should be amended as such:
The proposed text: Art. 53, Par. 1: It is forbidden to keep animals in circuses.
Add item 1 (Art. 53, Par. 1, It. 1): It is forbidden to use wild animals in animal acts.
Explanation: Regardless of whether the animals being kept in circuses are domestic, companion or wild animals, keeping them in such revels is abuse as they are forced to behave unnaturally, subjected to training for regular performances and constantly moved and transported. It is then, abundantly clear, that no animal belongs in a circus and as such keeping them there should be prohibited by the law.
This is corroborated by the fact that 32 Croatian cities have already banned visits from circuses which use animals.
All circuses involving animals which have visited Croatia proved to provide inadequate care for animals, with many animals wounded, exhausted, hungry and thirsty, and kept in all kinds of weather conditions, no matter how (un)suitable they were to their ethological needs.
Animals in circuses are kept, for most of their lives, chained or confined in small places or transport vehicles. In order to avoid a mess, the animals are withheld food and water. Chained, confined, lost and often sedated, and they spend 90% of their time waiting for training sessions of performances. Whips, electric prods, and other "tools" are often used to get them to perform.
Circuses that keep animals aren't doing it for preservation of the species or education. They cannot even be considered fun because watching another being suffer and perform under the threat of physical violence and pain cannot be fun.
Numerous cities and countries, including Venice, Vienna, Barcelona, Greece, the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the United States, Israel, Australia and many others have banned circuses involving animals. Circuses with wild animals are prohibited in Austria, Belgium, Cost Rica and Singapore while some acts with wild animals are prohibited in India, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
There are cities in many countries where the city authorities have banned circuses with animals or have prohibit them from performing on city grounds, and we can name a few examples such as: Australia where acts involving wild animals are banned in many places; Brazil - Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre banned circuses that use animals; Canada banned circuses with animal acts in many of its cities; Colombia - the two main cities, including the capital Bogota, banned the use of animals in circuses; France, where the prefect Nevers in central France banned animal acts in circuses; Greece, where Patras, one of the major Greek cities, banned circuses with animal acts; the United Kingdom, in which approximately 200 local councils banned circuses with animals and the United States, where many cities prohibit visits from circuses with animals.
We would also like to suggest a new provision that would clearly ban the use of wild animals in acts. It too is already prohibited by law, but because of the ban on keeping any animal in circuses we feel that a separate item needs to be written for wild animals. In this case Article 4, paragraph 2, item 11, should be amended so that it reads: "It is forbidden to: use animals for shows, film and television broadcasts, advertising, exhibition or competition, if they are thereby forced into unnatural behavior or causes pain, suffering, injury or fear in said animals. "
The Animal Friends 'proposal for this amendment to the Animal Protection Act is from 2012, and is a supplement to an identical proposal put forth by Animal Friends during the drafting of the Animal Protection Act in 2006.