Two More EU Countries Just Banned Wild-Animal Acts

Published by Zachary Toliver.

As people around the world come to understand that animals are not ours to use for entertainment, entire nations are forbidding cruel circus performances. In the latest victory for animals, both Latvia and Romania have banned wild-animal acts!

Just days after PETA Germany sent an urgent letter to the Latvian parliament (Saeima) and issued a news release, the parliament voted for a strict ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. During the voting session, roughly 250 supporters of the ban rallied outside the building. PETA Germany and local groups urged members of parliament to support a strong version of the ban instead of a previously approved, weaker wording that would have allowed circuses to continue exhibiting wild animals bred in captivity.

Meanwhile, in Romania, according to a law passed by the country’s parliament, circuses have 18 months to find suitable placements for the wild animals in their custody. Circus owners could face criminal charges and a year of prison time if they violate the new ruling. However, some animals, such as dolphins and birds, are exempt in certain situations.

Earlier this year, the nation’s capital city, Bucharest, issued its own ban on wild-animal acts after a fire killed 11 animals at a facility housing animals retired from circuses. The deaths sparked outrage, and more than 60,000 people signed a petition calling for a nationwide ban.

Twenty-one EU countries now prohibit some or all wild-animal acts. The days of circuses that exploit animals by beating, prodding, and whipping them into performing meaningless tricks are numbered. But there’s still much work to be done.

Be on the Right Side of History

If you’re planning to attend a circus, take your family to an exciting animal-free show. If an exhibitor that exploits animals is in town, plan a demonstration. And continue to speak up for the lions, bears, tigers, elephants, and other animals who are denied everything that’s natural and important to them for just a few brief moments of human amusement.

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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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind