Menu

Worldwide Summary

Measures to prohibit or limit the use of animals in circuses

WORLDWIDE SUMMARY
Measures to prohibit or limit the use of animals in circuses have already been adopted in 40 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Latvia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan, The Netherlands and the Ukraine; similar laws are being discussed in the UK, USA, Italy, Finland Slovakia.

NORTH AMERICA

USA:
  81 partial or full bans on performing animals in jurisdictions in the US, in 29 states.  (A ‘partial’ ban or restriction includes restrictions on specific species, or types of performance, or certain uses of animals or animal management practices (such as use of elephant hooks)).

These include (at October 2017):-

Arkansas – Eureka Springs, Sherwood; California – Corona, Encinitas, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Los Angeles, Marin County, Oakland, Pasadena, Rohnert Park, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and California state; Colorado – Boulder; Connecticut – Stamford; Florida – Clearwater, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Margate, Miami Beach, Pompano Beach, Tallahassee, Weston; Georgia – Fulton County; Hawaii – Maui County; Idaho – Blaine County, Ketchum; Illinois – Collinsville and Illinois state; Indiana – Fort Wayne, St John, Kansas – Douglas County; Maine – Portland; Massachusetts – Braintree, Cambridge, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Provincetown, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, Weymouth; Minnesota – Minneapolis; Missouri – Richmond; Montana – Missoula; New Jersey – Bergen County, City of Clifton, Cumberland County, Hudson County, Jersey City, Passaic County, Vineland; New Mexico – Albuquerque, Sante Fe; New York – Greenburgh, New York City, Plattsburg, Southampton and New York state; North Carolina – Asheville, Orange County;  Ohio – Delaware and Ohio state; Oregon – Clatsop County; Rhode Island state; South Carolina – Aiken County, Chester County; Texas – Austin, City of Denton, Simonton; Vermont – Burlington; Virginia – Richmond; Washington – Port Townsend, Redmond, Spokane;  Wisconsin – Dane County, Green Bay, Madison.

Canada: Local bans on the use of animals in circuses in more than 30 municipal jurisdictions including Vancouver.

LATIN AMERICA

Argentina: Local bans on the use of wild animals in circuses in over 20 cities including a ban in the city of Buenos Aires

Bolivia: Nationwide ban on the use of wild and domestic animals in circuses

Brazil: Local bans on the use of animals in circuses in 11 states and over 20 cities

Colombia: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses; Local ban on the use of animals in circuses in the capital, Bogota

Costa Rica: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

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: Nationwide ban on the “Income, use or abuse of wildlife species in all kinds of entertainment”

Guatemala: Nationwide ban on the use of animals in circuses

Mexico: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses

Panama: Nationwide ban prohibiting “entry of wild animals for use in static and travelling circuses and similar shows”

Paraguay: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

Peru: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses as well as a local ban on all animals in Magdalena del Mar

EUROPE

Austria: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.

Belgium: Nationwide ban on the use of most wild animals in circuses (Parrots and camel are classed as domestic)

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Nationwide ban on all animals in circuses

Bulgaria: Nationwide ban on certain wild animal species in circuses, variety shows and other entertainment facilities

Croatia: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses

Czech Republic: Nationwide ban on the use of certain species in circuses

Cyprus: Nationwide ban on all animals in circuses

Denmark: Nationwide ban on the use of certain species in circuses

Estonia: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses

Finland: Nationwide ban on the use of certain species in circuses

France: Local bans in 50 towns and cities

Germany: Local in bans in more 80 towns and cities

Greece: Nationwide ban on all animals in circuses

Hungary: Nationwide ban on the use of wild caught animals in circuses, the purchase and training of elephants and primates for circus performances and the purchase, training and use of CITES (Appendix 1) listed species in circuses

Ireland: Local bans on the use of animals in circuses in Drogheda, Dublin, Fingal, Galway City, Kildare, Monaghan, Moyle, South Dublin and Waterford

Latvia: Nationwide restrictions effectively banning the use of wild-caught animals

Macedonia: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses

Malta: Nationwide ban on all animals for performances, exhibitions, shows or training for the circus

The Netherlands: Nationwide ban on the use and transport of animals in circuses, with exemptions for certain, mostly domestic, species

Norway: Use of wild species effectively banned nationwide – positive list of permitted animals only includes domestic animals (apart from camels)

Poland: Nationwide ban on the use of wild-born animals in circuses

Portugal: Nationwide ban restricting the use of great apes in circuses and the acquisition and breeding of CITES listed species

Romania: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses (apart from certain exotic bird species and cetaceans)

Serbia: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses

Slovenia: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses

Spain: Local bans on the use of wild animals in circuses in more than 400 towns and cities including Barcelona

Sweden: Nationwide ban on the use of certain species in circuses

UK: Over 200 local authorities have bans on animal circuses (more than two thirds of these ban all performing animals, the remainder ban just wild animals). A commitment to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in England has yet to be enacted; Scotland has introduced a bill which is progressing through parliament

Ukraine: Nationwide ban on “mobile menageries” and the transportation of wild animals for use in circus performances

OCEANIA

Australia: Local bans on the use of animals in circuses in several towns including Hobsons Bay, Surf Coast Shire, Parramata and Lismore

ASIA

India: Nationwide ban on the use of certain species in circuses

Iran: Use of wild animals in circuses effectively banned nationwide (no permits issued)

Israel: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses

Lebanon: Nationwide ban on the use of certain species in circuses

Singapore: Nationwide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses

Taiwan: Nationwide prohibition on the import or export of protected wildlife for circuses