Greece has jumped ahead of most of the Western world in banning all use of animals in circuses. It’s the first ban of its kind in Europe.
Two organizations have been helping the Greek people steer this measure through parliament: Animal Defenders International (ADI) and the Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF), which has long been campaigning for this reform.
“Even in its bleakest hour, as Greece struggles with economic uncertainly, it has found time to tackle this significant issue and has made such a positive change,” said Lucy Westmore of GAWF. “Greece is still capable of taking a lead and sending out a clear message to the rest of Europe – circuses with animals are simply unacceptable.”
ADI has been involved in the campaign for five years. “I remember a hippo living in a small, filthy cage on the back of a lorry with a stinking pool barely bigger than a bath tub to wallow in,” said Tim Phillips, who launched the campaign. “We applaud the Greek Government for taking a strong, unequivocal stand against animal suffering in circuses.”
Bolivia was the first country to ban all animals from circuses. Peru followed last year. Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador are considering similar bans. (Yes, interesting that they’re all in South America.)