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Worldwide circus bans



© FOUR PAWS | Fred Dott

Bans on wild animals in circuses

In recent years, there has been an increasing discussion about the use of wild animals in public entertainment and a growing public disapproval of its continuation, particularly in circuses. A 2015 survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults showed that over two-thirds are most concerned about animals used in circuses, along with animals used in competitive animal sports, contests, and research. This concern is also supported by the recent decline in SeaWorld attendance after the release and widespread praise of the film Blackfish.

 

Highly social animal species such as elephants and large carnivores like big cats are amongst the most popular species kept in circuses, whereas they also appear to be the least suitable to circuses. This has already been recognized in nearly 40 countries around the world where (some or all) wild animals have become prohibited for use in circuses. In Canada, there are local bans on the use of animals in circuses in 28 municipal jurisdictions. In the U.S., there are over 80 jurisdictions in 31 states that have full or partial bans on the use of animals in circuses. As of September 2017, several states including Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania have already introduced and are considering similar legislation. Illinois recently became the first state to ban the use of a wild animal, in this case elephants, in circuses or other traveling performances.


Bans or Restrictions in the U.S.

State

Municipalities

Arkansas

Eureka Springs, Sherwood

California

Corona, Encinitas, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Los Angeles, Marin County, Oakland, Pasadena, Rohnert Park, Santa Ana, West Hollywood

Colorado

Boulder

Connecticut

Stamford

Florida

Clearwater, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Margate, Miami Beach, Pompano Beach, Tallahassee, Weston

Georgia

Fulton

Hawaii

Maui County

Idaho

Ketchum

Illinois

Collinsville

Indiana

Fort Wayne, St. John

Kansas

Douglas County

Massachusetts

Braintree, Cambridge, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, Provincetown, Weymouth

Missouri

Richmond

New York

Greenburgh, Southampton, NYC

North Carolina

Orange County, Chapel Hill

Oregon

Clatsop County

South Carolina

Chester County; Aiken County

Texas

Simonton

Vermont

Burlington

Washington

Port Townsend, Redmond

Wisconsin

Dane County, Green Bay

 


Other Countries with Bans or Restrictions

Country

Notes

Austria

Ban on wild animals

Belgium

Ban on wild animals

Bolivia

Ban on all animals

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Ban on wild animals

Bulgaria

Ban on wild animals

Colombia

Ban on wild animals

Costa Rica

Ban on wild animals

Croatia

Ban on all animals

Cyprus

Ban on wild animals

Czech Republic

Ban on new-born apes, seals, whales (excl. dolphins), rhinos, hippos, and giraffes

Denmark

Ban on wild animals

Ecuador

Nationwide ban on the use of native animals

Restrictions on the use of exotic animals

Ban on the import of both native and exotic wild animals with circuses

England

Ban on wild animals as of 2020

El Salvador

Ban on wild animals

Estonia

Ban on wild animals born in the wild

Finland

Ban on apes, predators, elephants, hippos, rhinos, marsupials, seals, crocodiles, birds of prey, ostriches, wild variants of ruminants and equines

Greece

Ban on all wild animals

Guatemala

Ban on all wild animals

Honduras

Ban on all wild animals

Hungary

Ban on elephants, rhinos, and primates

Ban on newly captured wild animals and on species listed as Appendix I under CITES

India

Ban on bears, apes, lions, tigers, and leopards

Iran

Ban on all wild animals

Ireland

Ban on wild animals as of 2018

Israel

Ban on wild animals

Italy

Ban on animals in circuses and traveling exhibitions as of 2019

Latvia

Ban on wild animals

Lebanon

Nationwide ban on certain species in circuses

Macedonia

Nationwide ban on wild animals in circuses

Malta

Ban on all animals listed on CITES

Mexico

Ban on wild animals

Netherlands

Ban on wild animals

Norway

Ban on wild animals

Panama

Nationwide ban prohibiting “entry of wild animals for use in static and travelling circuses and similar shows”

Paraguay

Ban on wild animals

Peru

Ban on wild animals

Poland

Ban on wild animals born in the wild

Portugal

Ban on the breeding of whales, primates, wolves, bears, big cats, seals, elephants, manatees, rhinos, hippos, flightless birds, reptiles, and constrictors

Romania

Ban on wild animals as of 2017 (18 months transition period)

Scotland

Ban on wild animals

Serbia

Ban on wild animals

Singapore

Ban on wild animals

Slovenia

Ban on wild animals

Sweden

Ban on apes, predators, rhinos, giraffes, kangaroos, hippos, seals, birds of prey, ostriches, crocodiles, and fallow deer

Taiwan

Nationwide ban on import or export of protected wildlife for circuses

 


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