Ban the use of wild animals in circuses

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On Easter Monday there was a road crash in Spain involving five circus elephants. It left one elephant dead and two severely injured. It was only a matter of chance that no people were hurt.

This tragedy could have been avoided - that’s why I’m calling for the use of wild animals in circuses to be banned in the European Union.

Recent reports show shocking incidents involving the public and wild animals in circuses across Europe. These often involve circuses and animals which, travel all around the continent endangering the health and safety of European citizens. In Spain, a few weeks ago a hippo escaped for the fifth reported time.

The elephants involved in this latest incident were on their way to their next performance location with Spanish Circus Gottani.

They had been smuggled out of Germany and were forced to France, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland and, eventually, Spain. The family who owns the elephants has a record of negligent behavior which has led to several incidents.

The large majority of EU Member States has already banned or severely restricted the use of wild animals in circuses. The veterinary community has already urged the European and other competent authorities to simply prohibit the use of wild mammals in travelling circuses. We too are calling for the end of the practice.

It is time for the European Union to act. Only this can guarantee a solution to the physical and emotional suffering of wild animals in circuses and to the related public security risks.

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