Strasbourg –    Today, the Intergroup on Welfare and Conservation of Animals met to discuss the welfare of wild animals in circuses.

The meeting was opened by MEP Karin Kadenbach who gave an update on the state of play of the oral question on banning the use of wild animals in circuses which she introduced during the last Intergroup session.

Wild animals in circuses are bought and sold, prematurely separated from their mothers and then from companions, confined or chained and frequently moved in small compartments on trains or trucks”, Mrs. Kadenbach said. “They are required to perform behaviours never seen in nature. Public support for transporting wild animals in the back of lorries around towns and cities to show them off to people is long gone, and it’s time for the Commission to prepare a proposal for an EU-wide ban on wild animals in circuses”.

Ilaria Di Silvestre, Project Leader Wildlife Advocacy at Eurogroup for Animals then presented a summary of the scientifically proven welfare effects of the circus life on wild animals. These have been summarised in a Statement prepared in collaboration with the Members of Eurogroup for Animals which has been co-signed by many eminent University professors, ethologists and veterinarians, clearly demonstrating that wild animals are not suited to a circus life.

Elizabeth Tyson, consultant at the Born Free Foundation, then presented a review of the legal status of wild animals in European circuses.

A debate followed and the Intergroup agreed to draft a letter that will be sent to the relevant competent authorities of all Member States that don’t yet have a total ban on wild animals in circuses calling on them to rectify this situation as quickly as possible.

To read the statement on welfare effects of the circus life on wild animals click here


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