All across the world, traveling circuses have entertained millions of visitors for more than 100 years. From acrobats, clown cars, to trained animals, they have been a big entertainment industry. To train these animals to perform, they have been abused and used in many unorthodox ways which is a big criticism for animal rights activists. During this month, the France minister for the environment made a ban on performing wildlife animals in traveling shows. Along with 20 other European countries, France is now part of the prohibitions of the bad treatment of wildlife animals.
Over 400 local officials enacted similar rules of the ban in their jurisdictions as minister Barbra Pompili announced the new rules. Compared to the animals in wild like the lions, bears, elephants, and tigers, the circus animals are living in limited spaces in their small cages and will perform even if they’re sick.
French marine parks called dolphinariums are also affected by these rules where the dolphins and captive killer whales are bred. Both circus and marine animals will be transferred to wildlife sanctuaries. The ban on performing animals should take in phase over the next few years whereas the circus workers will still keep their jobs. The government allocated 8 million euros for the dolphinarium and circus workforce and the minister expects their collaboration.
Mistreating Circus Animals
The performing animals in the circus such as the elephants and the tigers don’t jump through hoops, stand on their heads, or walk on two feet because they like it. These difficult tricks are thought to them through force. People are abusing them using tight collars, whips, electric prods, and other painful ways to train them for their act. Many videos are circulating online of elephants being beaten with bullhooks and shocked with electric pods to learn their routine.
Because circuses travel year-round in any weather for days at a time, the animals are confined in trucks or trailers where they don’t have access to their needs. The animals are left without water, food, veterinary care, or enough space to roam. Keep in mind that these are wild animals and want to roam around searching for food and live a life in nature. Instead, they are kept in confined spaces and are only used for money.
Another reason why circus animals should be prohibited is their aggressive nature after being beaten for years. A danger to the public exists since the animal can snap at any time where even their trainers can’t confine them. This can be a big danger to the public and the people working in the circus as well.