(ANIMAL NEWS/CIRCUSES) MEXICO — On Monday, Mexico City became the latest to ban the use of animals in circuses.
Passing without opposition, the ban was approved by a 41-0 vote by the local assembly, with 11 abstentions.
Circuses will have one year to remove all animals from their acts before the ban goes into effect, carrying fines between $45,000 and $60,000.
Unfortunately, the law does not apply to water shows using dolphins and/or whales, bullfighting, or Mexico’s traditional rodeos, also referred to as “charreadas.”
Yet on Tuesday, over 1,000 acrobats, clowns, and other circus employees marched through downtown Mexico City in protest of the ban.
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]“The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo.” – Dr. Albert Schweitzer[/quote]
“Hundreds of families are going to be out of work,” Julio Cesar Ramirez, a clown and fourth generation circus worker, said. “This is a tradition that goes back 250 years.”
Circus advocates are attempting to combat the ban claiming circus animals enjoy performing in shows and are treated humanely.
However, supporters of the measure say the contrary.
Circus animals are taken from their mothers at birth, forced to live in small confined spaces, and subjected to relentless training (including the inhumane use of bullhooks as torture devices in order to force elephants to perform unnatural tricks).
Animal activists argue circuses like Cirque du Soleil can be successful without animal acts.
Green Party legislator Jesús Sesma Suárez suggested circuses shift their focus from animal-centric acts to “acrobatics, making children laugh, doing magic.”
Mexico City joins a number of other states and cities throughout the country, as well as over 30 other nations worldwide that have banned the use of animals in circuses.
The U.S. is coming close to enacting a similar ban thanks to Congressman Jim Moran who recently introduced his plans for the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA) that would also put an end to using exotic animals in traveling circuses.
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— Cara Meyers, exclusive to Global Animal