EU leaders should work harder to protect wild animals (and citizens)


EU leaders should work harder to protect wild animals (and citizens)

3 March 2019
In particular, wild animals in circuses should be a thing of the past, with an increasing number of organisations calling for a ban at EU level.

Today, on the occasion of World Wildlife Day, NGO AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection reiterates its call for EU legislation that protects wild animals – and citizens – in Europe.

Over the past 20 years, more than 300 incidents involving over 600 wild animals were recorded, which is on average 15 per year in the whole of the EU, some of them fatal[1]. Incidents continue to occur regularly such as the recent elephant escaped from a circus in Milan, Italy, that ended up on the busy Idroscalo ring round.

As attention in Brussels turns to the May elections for the European Parliament and political groups prepare their manifestos, World Wildlife Day is a timely reminder to legislators and policy makers to make ambitious commitments to animal welfare.

“The number of incidents involving the public and wild animals in circuses across the EU is shocking. Besides animal welfare considerations, circuses with wild animals are a serious threat to public health and safety. However, they are still allowed to move freely from one Member State to another, even in those countries where the national legislation does not allow them to perform. This is a cross-border EU concern that needs to be addressed in Brussels”, says AAP’s Head of Public Policy Raquel Garcia-van der Walle.

The campaign to ban the use of wild animals in circuses gained traction in Spain, where seven of the country’s autonomous regions have already passed bans, and three more are set to follow suit in the next few weeks. The city of Madrid has also announced it will no longer authorise circuses with wild animals. Additional momentum is brewing across Europe with over 720,000 signatures gathered for the petition launched by InfoCircos to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.