S. American circus animal abuse documented in new report

Thursday, 12 Jul 2007 13:08

Today shocking video footage from inside animal circuses in Peru and other South America countries will be unveiled in Lima. A new report and video are based on the findings of a two and half year investigation by Animal Defenders International (ADI) of the treatment of animals in South American circuses. In Peru, ADI Field Officers monitored seven circuses, Circo Zafari Kids, Africa de Fieras / Circo Africa (which tours under either name), Circus Las Galaxias, Circo Do Brasil, Circo Moscow / Circo Nikita (which tours under either name), Circo Chola Jacinta, Circo Russell, as well as the animal show at the Serpentario in Iquitos.

Juan Pablo Castro of ADI South America says: “This report includes the findings of the most thorough study of the use and treatment of animals in South American circuses ever undertaken. The study, spanning several years, involved ADI Field Officers making extensive observations of animal circuses in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. The findings paint an ugly picture of systematic abuse, severe confinement and deprivation of animals. Anyone who watches our DVD will not go to visit an animal circus again”.

Animal abuse observed in Peru includes:

* Lions being whipped, prodded, struck with weapons and even pulled by the tail, in order to force them to perform (Circo Las Galaxias).
* A trainer abusively handling a capuchin monkey and ocelot (Circo Zafari Kids).
* A restrained woolly monkey screaming in terror when his handler forced the animal’s head into his mouth (Serpentario).

The report and DVD reveal animals forced to live in small, dirty, rusting, barren cages, which are clearly inadequate for the animal’s natural needs.

Lions: Three lions with Circus Las Galaxias, were confined together in a cage on the back of a truck measuring 6 metres x 3 metres. At Circo Nikita / Circo Moscow, four lions were kept in a cage on the back of a truck, whilst lions at Circo do Brasil endured a similar fate, with three lionesses and a lion filmed, squeezed into just in one section of a cage on a trailer which measured only 2.5metres by 2.5metres.

Ocelot: An ocelot with Circo Zafari Kids was forced to live in a wooden box, approx 1m x 50cm x 50cm.

Bears fared no better. A group of three brown bears (a fourth bear had died in 2004) were tracked as they appeared with Circo Nikita / Circo Moscow, in Peru and then Circo Abuhadba in Bolivia. The animals, which in the wild are inquisitive and love to explore, roaming for miles, lived in small cages on the back of a lorry with no exercise but the short walk to the ring to perform. The bears were filmed performing disturbed behaviour, repeatedly pacing and weaving in their beastwagons.

Primates: A lonely capuchin monkey was tied outside Circo Zafari Kids whilst two spider monkeys sat confined in small cages just 1m (l) x 50cm (h) x 50cm (w). Such confinement and deprivation causes considerable suffering to these highly intelligent animals.

Juan Pablo Castro: “Animals are being degraded, abused and suffering terribly in the name of entertainment. It is simply not possible to provide adequate living conditions for these animals in an environment that moves from one location to another week after week. We urge everyone to watch our video and to never visit the circuses that use animals again”.

“Circuses that only have human acts, are proving successful all over the world. These circuses provide employment for people and are cruelty-free, this is the only future for circuses in a humane society”.

The ADI Stop Circus Suffering campaign has been hugely successful in Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador, and is active throughout Europe. ADI will be pressing for government action at local and national levels in Peru.

Animal Defenders International – Background
Founded in 1990, Animal Defenders International (ADI) has offices in the UK and USA and is working worldwide to end the suffering and abuse of animals in circuses, with campaigns in Europe, Scandinavia, South America and the USA. ADI Field Officers have made detailed observations of circuses all over the world. ADI evidence of circus suffering has led to national and local restrictions on animal circuses. Following a seven year campaign by ADI, new regulations for the cross border movements of endangered species with circuses were adopted at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International trade in Endangered Species, in Santiago, Chile. The rules which are designed to curb the ability of circuses to traffic in endangered species affect over 160 countries.

http://www.politics.co.uk/press-releases/zopinion-former-index/animal- welfare/adi-circus-suffering-exposed-in-peru-$476001.htm

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