Circus animals do not willingly stand on their heads, jump through rings of fire, or ride bicycles. They don’t perform these tricks because they want to and they don’t do any of these meaningless acts in their natural habitat. The ONLY reason circus animals perform is because they are scared of what will happen to them if they don’t.
The circus would like you to think that these intelligent and sentient creatures perform because they are positively reinforced with food, praise etc. There is no such thing as positive reinforcement for animals in the circus – only varying levels of punishment, neglect, and deprivation. These animals have limited access to food and water as to will them to perform, as well as to prevent untimely defecation and urination while they are on stage or in public view.
Why would you pay to see miserable, confused (and potentially dangerous) wild animals trot out a tired routine that they’ve been forced to learn through beatings and other abuse when you could watch exuberant human acrobats soar through the air at shows such as Cirque du Soleil?
Wild-animal circuses are a show that must not go on. And all over the world, governments are making sure it doesn’t. The Netherlands finalised its ban last month!
Here is a roundup of circus animal bans around the world:
Nationwide ban on all animals in circuses: Cyprus, Greece, Malta, and Bolivia
Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, Israel and Mexico
Nationwide ban on the use of most wild animals in circuses: Belgium, Bulgaria, and The Netherlands
Nationwide ban on the use of certain species in circuses: Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Sweden, and India
Nationwide ban on the use of native wild animals in circuses: Ecuador
Nationwide ban on the use of wild-born animals in circuses: Estonia, Hungary, and Poland.
Local bans on the use of animals in circuses: Ireland, Norway, Spain, UK, USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Australia
These countries are really showing us up with their progressive, compassionate policies. The sooner the USA joins this list, the better.
In the end, however, animals in a circus do not care in which country they were born, trained or perform. Surely they all need to be protected from the suffering a lifetime in a circus can cause.
The elephants on these picture left Pittsburgh for another city where they will have to “perform”! They are abused, ridiculed with the costumes and the hat, exploited and deprived of any basic needs as interaction, enough food, bathing, enough water, medical care, roaming free! These archaic traditions don’t have a place in this century! The suffering of all wild animals in circuses must end NOW!