midiamimesEuropean Vets Recommend Ban on Wild Mammals in Travelling Circuses

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Circus Elephant, the Netherlands (Photo: S. Dubus)Members of the ENDCAP coalition have today welcomed the recently-published position statement from the Federation of Veterinarians for Europe (FVE), which makes recommendations to all European countries to ban the use of wild mammals, such as lions, tigers and elephants, in travelling circuses. The powerful statement, made by the group which represents 46 national veterinary organisations across 38 European countries asserts that, when wild mammals are used in travelling circuses, there is “by no means the possibility that their physiological, mental and social requirements can adequately be met”.
The statement will come as a blow to European wild animal circuses as, whilst individual national veterinary organisations, such as the British Veterinary Association in the UK, have come out in opposition of the practice, no statement had been made by the European profession as a whole until now. As Government officials often look to representatives of the veterinary profession to advise on matters of animal welfare, ENDCAP predicts that this firm position will encourage national authorities to take action.
Said Daniel Turner, ENDCAP Coordinator:
“The veterinary profession in Europe has made its position very clear. That position sits in line with both expert animal welfare organisations and public opinion across many European countries. The use of wild animals in travelling circuses must be consigned to the history books without further delay. We are delighted to now have the FVE standing firmly beside ENDCAP and our long-term campaign partners on this important issue for animal welfare”.
A present, there are 23 countries worldwide which had implemented full nationwide bans on the use of wild animals in circuses with some of these countries, such as Bolivia and Malta, having implemented bans on the use of all animals in circuses. Within the EU, nine countries have implemented outright bans on the use of all animals or all wild animals in circuses and a further nine have partial bans in place.
Public opinion polls carried out in various countries in the EU have pointed toward a desire to end the use of wild animals in circuses. For example, in June 2015, the Scottish Government released the results of its public consultation on the matter. 98% of respondents called for a ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses. A poll carried out in Ireland in 2014 showed that only 28% of people thought it acceptable to use wild animals in circus shows. Similarly, 64.4% of German citizens would like to see a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses1 and 57% of French citizens are against the presence of animals in circuses2.
ENDCAP members around Europe have worked for many years to see an end to the use of wild animals in travelling circuses. It is hoped that the FVE’s support for this important campaign will bring that goal a step closer.
» Full FVE statement on the use of wild mammals in circuses
» More on the use of wild animals in European circuses
End notes
1. http://www.peta.de/web/zwei_drittel_der.3299.html
2. May 2012. Elsass/France in DNA.
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Author: ENDCAP