Tier im Recht, Pro Tier and Vier Pfoten launch campaign against wild animals in circuses

Wild animals do not belong in the circus ring: The three animal welfare organizations Tier im Recht, Pro Tier and Vier Pfoten want to emphasize the demand for a ban with a joint campaign.

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The new campaign by Vier Pfoten, Tier im Recht and ProTier underpins the demand for a legal ban on wild animals in circuses.
The 2019 circus season has begun and once again big cats have involuntarily found their way back into the circus ring. Although Switzerland boasts exemplary animal welfare legislation, it lags far behind the rest of the world when it comes to circuses: 28 European countries have already significantly restricted or even banned the use of wild animals in circuses. 

In contrast, the three animal welfare organizations criticize in a joint press release that in Germany circuses are even allowed to fall massively below the minimum requirements of animal welfare legislation, which zoos, for example, must adhere to. 

For Vanessa Gerritsen from the Foundation for Animals in the Law (TIR), one thing is clear: "Dubious dressage methods and unnatural and often humiliating tricks violate the dignity of animals." Instead of giving these animal species, which are often under severe pressure in their habitat, the protection they urgently need, they are humanized in circus performances and shown as fun birds, beasts or cuddly animals.

"The fact that wild animals in circuses are no longer ethically acceptable is shown by the petition with over 70,000 signatures that we submitted to the Federal Council in March 2018. This petition finally calls for a national ban on wild animals in circuses in Switzerland too," says Monika Wasenegger from ProTier. In its reply, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) explained that the strict legal regulations take sufficient account of animal welfare in Swiss wild animal husbandry and that there is therefore no need to ban wild animals in circuses. This means that it is still up to the circus companies to comply with animal welfare requirements - which is simply unacceptable from an animal welfare perspective. 

Lucia Oeschger from Vier Pfoten clarifies: "The breeding of wild animals such as lions and tigers specifically for the entertainment industry is definitely not justifiable from an animal welfare perspective. The petition's concerns are by no means off the table, but will be pursued with renewed vigor." 

This year, the three animal welfare organizations Vier Pfoten, Tier im Recht and ProTier want to emphasize the demand once again with the expressive campaign, which was created through a cooperation between Viva Colores Switzerland and Nachtlicht Creative. The public and parliament are to be further informed about the lifelong suffering experienced by wild animals in circuses so that a legal ban can finally be implemented. (hae/pd)

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