The Colombian Congress voted on Wednesday to ban the use of wild animals in circuses nationwide. Colombia joins four other South American countries – Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay – in bringing an end to this form of animal abuse.
Under the new law, circuses have two years to find suitable new habitats for the elephants, tigers, lions and chimpanzees.
“It will recover the moral values of Colombia’s society.”
Senator Augusto Posada, one of the sponsors of the bill, argued that “it will recover the moral values of Colombia’s society.”
Another of the sponsors, Senator Camilo Sanchez, said that “a circus can entertain without removing animals from their natural habitats.”
Helping to steer the bill to a successful was Animal Defenders International (ADI), which will be helping the circuses relocate the animals. ADI began their campaign in Colombia, six years ago, by showing undercover video of the horror that passes for life at a circus. Jan Creamer, executive director of ADI, wrote on the organization’s site:
ADI investigators worked undercover in South American circuses for two years filming, photographing and takes notes on the deprived environments, small cages, psychological suffering and the violent and brutal treatment of animals when being handled and trained. The evidence shocked the continent and governments in South America have been swift to take action to show that such treatment of animals is unacceptable in civilized society.
If five South American countries can conclude, on the basis of incontrovertible videos, photos, scientific evidence, and the obvious fact that elephants and tigers don’t exist to dance on stools and jump through hoops, what’s the United States still waiting for?
(Oh wait, maybe it’s because the circuses here are paying Congress not to pass those kinds of laws.)