12 July 2013
Born Free Foundation urges Belgian Parliamentarians to Ratify Federal Ban
Brussels, 12 July 2013: Belgian Federal Ministers have today approved a bill, introduced by the Minister for Animal Welfare, which would ban the use of all wild animals in circuses.
The bill now awaits Parliamentary approval but, if passed, will prohibit the use of all wild animals in circuses in Belgium. The Born Free Foundation joins the Belgian NGO, GAIA, in welcoming the bill and Born Free, one of Europe’s most dynamic wildlife protection charities, encourages Belgian Members of Parliament to give the measure their swift and unequivocal.
Ann De Greef, Director of GAIA, stated, “The government's decision is the culmination of a ten-year long struggle conducted by GAIA for a Belgian ban on circuses with wild animals. It is clear that the welfare of wild animals cannot be guaranteed in circuses; they have no place there. A ban is the only logical step. We are very pleased; it's yet another victory in the fight for animals.”
Belgium joins Cyprus, Greece, Croatia and Austria in prohibiting the use of wild animals in circuses (Cyprus and Greece have banned the use of all animals in circuses). England is likely to follow suit in 2015 and Born Free believes that momentum is now building across Europe for other EU countries to adopt similar measures.
“The evidence is irrefutable. Animals, and in particular wild animals, simply cannot be provided suitable living conditions in a circus or travelling menagerie.” said Daniel Turner, spokesperson for Born Free. “By its very nature - transporting animals across long distances, frequent loading and unloading, housing animals in temporary enclosures or their travelling vehicles, the rigours of training and performance, regular exposure to loud sounds and the unnaturally close proximity of large numbers of people - the circus in no place for a wild animal. The use of wild animals in circuses must be consigned to the history books as soon as possible.”