midiamimesGreece considers to reverse their ban on animal performance

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Captive dolphins (Photo: Born Free Foundation)The treatment of captive wild animals is a matter of emerging concern across Europe, with an increasing number of countries including Austria, Croatia and Serbia implementing bans on the use of wild animals in circuses, while EU legislation governing the licensing and inspection of zoos has been in place since 2002. Now it seems that one European country, Greece, may be considering bucking the trend of increased protection for captive wild animals by reversing their decision to introduce unique legislation banning all performances by captive animals. Surely this must fly in the face of public opinion.
In 2012, Greece approved a law (Law 4039/2012) effectively banning animal performances in circuses, zoos, variety shows and other establishments. The news of the ban received praise and attention from animal welfare organisations and the wider public, with many congratulating Greece on taking this ground-breaking step.
Now, reports indicate that the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food may attempt to revise the law in order to exempt Greece’s only licensed zoo from the ban. The zoo, Attica Park, had constructed a dolphinarium, apparently without permission, and has been operating performances of dolphins and sea lions, under the guise of educational shows.
Should the ban be overturned, not only will performances involving animals at Attica Park be permitted, but we may also see the return of animal circuses and other animal attractions in Greece.
“Greece was held up as an example to all when it passed the ground-breaking law banning all animal performances. To change this law would be a catastrophe”, stated Daniel Turner, spokesperson for ENDCAP. “We urge the public to call on the Greek Government, and the Ministry of Rural Development and Food in particular, to ensure that the ban on animal performance remains in place”.
Polite letters of concern should be sent to -
Mr. Athanasios Tsaftaris, Minister
Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food
minister-mailbox@hq.minagric.gr ; minister@mail.minagric.gr
Mr. Maximos Charakopoulos, Deputy Minister Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food
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Author: ENDCAP