Written by PETA
Back in May, we told you that a bill was under consideration in Bolivia to ban all animals from circuses—and that bill was recently made law! With the passage of law number 4040 by Bolivian President Evo Morales, the day has finally arrived when "It is forbidden to use wild and/or domestic animals in circuses throughout the country." As far as we know, Bolivia is the first country in the world to enact such a landmark measure for animals abused in circuses.
Bolivia is no stranger to looking out for animals. The country already set a precedent when it banned its military from mutilating dogs and other animals during training exercises. And with the passage of this new law, elephants, lions, tigers, horses, dogs, and all other animals who are forced to live in shackles or cages—and are routinely beaten into submission in order to perform unnatural circus "tricks"—will no longer be subjected to these cruelties in Bolivia.
And as if that weren't enough, PETA is now working closely with the Bolivian government on the country's first national animal protection framework law. If the measure is adopted, it would make Bolivia a global leader in animal welfare.
With the way things are moving, it seems that animals in Bolivia are on a fast track to having all the simple inalienable rights they deserve.
On behalf of animals in Bolivia, muchas gracias to President Morales, Member of Congress Ximena Flores, and concerned citizen Ana Serrano Revollo for all their hard work in making this law prohibiting animal circuses a reality!
Written by Missy Lane
Oh, how I'm dreaming of retiring at the ripe old age of 26 and setting up shop in South America. And no, it's not just because the weather is warmer and the mojitos are stiffer.
Bolivia—yep, the same Bolivia that banned military training exercises on animals a month ago—recently passed a bill to ban all circuses that exploit animals from their country. After members of the Bolivian wing of animal rights group Animal Defenders International (ADI) went undercover and revealed that animals in circuses are confined to cages without room for them to move around and forced to stay crammed in those cages for the majority of their lives, the Bolivian public was outraged (as all people with hearts should be). Member of Congress Ximena Flores introduced the bill to get seedy circuses banned from the country, and the rest of the Bolivian Senate has agreed to the ban. As soon as President Morales signs the bill, it will be the law of the land.
Talk about progressive.
Bolivia is not alone in South American sympathy for animals used in circuses. Peru is leading the charge of other South American countries working to ban circuses. If the U.S. doesn't start playing catch up on all these animal rights issues, I think I might just pack my suitcase.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Did you know that in addition to being the award-winning director of Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, Oliver Stone is a decorated Army veteran? He's earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Stone's interest in the military and his compassion for animals is what prompted him to write this morning to Bolivian President Evo Morales thanking Morales for enacting Bolivia's first animal-protection regulation. The Bolivian government banned the abuse of live animals in military training exercises after the release of video footage that showed conscious dogs who screamed in agony as soldiers stabbed the animals' chests and heads with knives. In the letter, Stone says, "I applaud your efforts and thank you from the bottom of my heart. With this move, you have set a lifesaving precedent that we hope others will follow."
Considering that Stone was such an esteemed member of our armed forces, maybe the Department of Defense (DoD) will take note. People like Stone who have served in the military think that using thousands of live animals each year in trauma- and chemical casualty–training exercises is cruel and unnecessary. How many servicemen and servicewomen have to cry foul before the DoD follows in Bolivia's footsteps?
Written by Shawna Flavell
P.S. Oliver Stone also contributed an essay to Ingrid Newkirk's thought-provoking book One Can Make a Difference. Buy it now!
After less than a month of PETA campaigning, the Bolivian minister of defense went on that country's national television to announce an historic ban on all animal abuse in military training exercises, stating that the Bolivian government is issuing Resolution 217 to prohibit all acts of violence, exploitation, and mistreatment that provokes the death of animals. Not only has Bolivia beaten the U.S. military to the punch, this ban is also Bolivia's first military animal protection regulation ever.
This news comes as a direct result of PETA's and PETA Germany's campaigns, which were launched after horrific video footage was uncovered showing the Bolivian military's mutilation and killing of dogs in combat-training exercises. More than 20,000 supporters joined in the effort, including a leading Bolivian congresswoman, Ximena Flores Castro, who talked with PETA and then met with the defense minister in order to get the resolution on the books.
Resolution 217 puts an end to military training exercises in which dogs were mercilessly stabbed to death as they screamed in pain. Not one more animal—dog or otherwise—will have to suffer such a miserable fate at the hands of the Bolivian military. The resolution also includes sanctions for those who violate the regulation.
This is a giant step in the right direction for Bolivia, and we hope to continue working closely with government officials to enact more animal protection laws.
Everyone who spoke out against this cruelty deserves a big pat on the back! Let's keep up the momentum and urge the U.S. military to follow Bolivia's compassionate lead.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.