Tiger

worldwide bans on wild animals in circuses

1.10.2020

Bans or restrictions on the keeping of animals in circuses

Numerous countries have bans on the use of exotic and wild animals in circuses. Some of them have also banned the use of domesticated animals such as horses or dogs, who are also used in animal trainings in the circus.

FOUR PAWS gives you an overview of the countries that have already taken action against the use of wild animals in circuses - in Europe and around the world.

in EuropE

  • Austria: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Belgium: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina: General ban on the use of all animals.
  • Bulgaria: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Croatia: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Cyprus: General ban on the use of all animals.
  • Czech Republic: Ban on the use of newly born apes, seals, whales (excl. dolphins), rhinoceroses, hippopotami, giraffes. From January 2022 ban on all individuals of wild animal species born, donated or bought after 1. January 2022.
  • Denmark: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • England: General ban on the use of wild animals as of 2020.
  • Estonia: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Finland: Ban on the use of apes, predators, elephants, hippopotami, marsupials, rhinoceroses, seals, crocodiles, predatory birds, ostriches, wild forms of ruminant or equine animals.
  • France: On 29. September 2020 the French environment minister announced a gradual ban on wild animals in circuses.
  • Greece: General ban on the use of all animals.
  • Hungary: Ban on the use of elephants, rhinoceroses and primates. Ban on the use of newly captured animals from the wild. Ban on the use of species mentioned in Appendix I of the CITES Convention.
  • Ireland: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Italy: In November 2017, the Italian Parliament adopted a ban on animals in circuses and traveling exhibitions. The ban is not implemented yet.
  • Latvia: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Lithuania: General ban on wild animals is due to come into force on 21. November 2021.
  • Luxembourg: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Malta: General ban on the use of all animals.
  • Macedonia: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Netherlands: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Norway: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Portugal: Ban on the use of Great Apes. Breeding ban on whales, primate, wolves, bears, big cats, pinnipeds, elephants, manatees, rhinos, hippos, flightless birds, reptiles, constrictors. General ban of wild animals as of 2024.
  • Poland: Ban on the use of wild animals that were born in the wild.
  • Romania: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Scotland: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Serbia: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Slovakia: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Slovenia: General ban on the use of wild animals.
  • Sweden: Ban on the use of apes, predators, rhinoceroses, giraffes, kangaroos, hippopotami, seals, predatory birds, ostriches, crocodiles, fallow deer, elephants and sea lions.
  • Ukraine: The Ukrainian government is preparing for a ban
  • Wales: A law to ban the use of wild animals is due to come into force on 1. December 2020.

WorLdwide

  • Australia: While over 40 local councils have banned the use of circus animals in Australia, there are no national nor state bans against the use of wild and domesticated animals in circuses. Neither is there any national welfare standard for circus animals.
  • Bolivia: General ban of wild animals and domesticated species.
  • Costa Rica: General ban of wild animals.
  • Ecuador: Nationwide ban on the use of native wild animals; restrictions on the use of exotic animals; ban on the import of both native and exotic wild animals with circuses.
  • El Salvador: General ban of wild animals.
  • Guatemala: General ban of all animals.
  • Honduras: General ban of all animals.
  • India: General ban of wild animals.
  • Iran: General ban of wild animals.
  • Israel: General ban of wild animals.
  • Columbia: General ban of wild animals.
  • Lebanon: Nationwide ban on the use of certain species in circuses.
  • Mexico: General ban of wild animals.
  • Panama: Nationwide ban prohibiting 'entry of wild animals for use in static and travelling circuses and similar shows'.
  • Paraguay: General ban of wild animals.
  • Peru: General ban of wild animal.
  • Singapore: General ban of wild animals.
  • Taiwan: Nationwide ban on the import or export of protected wildlife for circuses.

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