Netherlands decide to ban wild animals in circuses

Wild animals such as tigers, zebras or lions are forbidden in the circus in the Netherlands. The law went into effect today, September 15, 2015. In Germany, however, keeping and showing wild animals in circuses is still permitted.

In the Netherlands, tigers and other wild animals are no longer allowed to perform in circuses – Shutterstock / Andrea Izzotti

In the Netherlands, tigers and other wild animals are no longer allowed to perform in circuses – Shutterstock / Andrea Izzotti

It took ten years for Dutch animal rights activists to achieve their goal: the ban on wild animals in circuses. The animal rights activists received support from the “Party for Animals”, which is represented in the Dutch parliament.

Reason for banning wild animals in the circus

The responsible state secretary for agriculture, Sharon Dijksma, explained on Dutch radio why it is so important that the keeping of wild animals in the circus was banned. “The disadvantages for the animals outweigh entertainment and traditions,” she clarified. Because with the circus, the animals travel a lot and have very little room to move.

A species-appropriate husbandry of tigers, lions, zebras and other wild animals is not possible at all, as the animal protection organization PETA emphasizes. The organization also criticizes the training and performances of the animals in the ring as unnatural and painful.

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situation in Germany

In Germany it is not yet forbidden to have wild animals perform in the circus. But animal rights activists in Germany have also been trying for a long time to achieve a legal ban. According to PETA, the Federal Council, the Federal Chamber of Veterinarians and the majority of Germans are in favor of such a ban. The Bundesrat submitted a corresponding application to the Bundestag in 2003. The application was renewed in 2011, but nothing has happened to date. After all, some German cities have decided to ban wild animals for circuses at the local level.

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