10/10/09 Who Thinks that Camels and Llamas are Domestic Animals?

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Animal Friends continues to protest because of animals in a circus

- Circuses yes, animals in circuses no!

Animals should not be used for entertainment purposes or to gain profit in any way. It is primitive to utilize animals in circuses, since there they are exposed to brutal training, stressful travels, and a painful life in trucks or around them, they suffer cold and heat, as well as all other difficulties of a circus life.

There are more humane ways of entertainment for both children and grown-ups. By using animals, circuses aim at attracting children, their parents' money, which is how they indirectly exploit children in order to gain profit. Children deserve to be taught about respecting other living beings and they should know that animals do not have fun in circuses and that they should not be kept there.

Animal Friends protests in front of the Circus Safari on the east parking lot of the Zagreb Fair on Saturday, October 10, at 4:30 P.M. and 7:30 P.M.. Members of Animal Friends and conscientious citizens will invite possible visitors of the circus to ask themselves whether camels and llamas or any other animals belong on the stage, on parking lots, in trucks or around them, in other words – in the entertainment industry.

Already 29 towns in Croatia banned circuses with all animals, while the Animal Protection Act regulates the ban on using wild animals in accordance to Article 53, paragraph 1 of Animal Protection Act says: "It is prohibited to keep wild animals in circuses and use them in circus performances and other performances involving animals." That means that wild animals should not be in a circus, whether they perform or not. In addition, according to the Animal Protection Act circuses cannot keep domestic and wild animals for exhibition under no circumstances (Article 3, paragraph 26).

Even though it is perfectly clear that no Croatian citizen thinks that camels and llamas are domestic animals, somebody is trying to twist the law. The Animal Protection Act is not implemented as it should be. The Veterinary Inspection should take the side of the law, the citizens, and the animals, rather than protecting those who want to manipulate the law in order to gain profit.

We are still awaiting some concrete actions following our first charges, but in the meantime we have considered it necessary to file additional ones, since according to the Croatian Animal Protection Act, circuses have no right to exhibit animals, regardless of whether they are wild or domestic. The same law prohibits the use of animals in circuses and other shows in which animals are forced to behave unnaturally (Article 4, paragraph 2, item 11) and also their exposure to adverse temperatures and weather conditions, contrary to accepted animal hygiene standards for individual animal species (Article 4, paragraph 2, item 13).

The towns which banned circuses with all animals are Mursko Sredisce, Varazdin, Donji Miholjac, Rovinj, Velika Gorica, Split, Delnice, Gospic, Kraljevica, Cakovec, Prelog, Ploce, Pozega, Ozalj, Bjelovar, Klanjec, Zabok, Novi Marof, Nin, Varazdinske Toplice, Dugo Selo, Krizevci, Lepoglava, Vukovar, Novigrad, Sisak, Karlovac, Senj, and Dubrovnik. Because ot the new situation, Animal Friends expects from Zagreb to ban circuses with animal acts aside from the Animal Protection Act regulation. Precisely because ot the attempt of manipulation with the law, the ban implemented by these towns is also needed on the national level.

Croatian citizens have already shown that they cannot be fooled by those who want to earn money by exploiting animals for entertainment. Therefore, Animal Friends will continue with their protests, sending out the message that people should not close their eyes in face of suffering and loss of dignity that animals endure in circuses. They should boycott circuses instead of supporting circuses with animals by visiting them, since in this case they are indirectly participating in the violation of the Animal Protection Act.

Animal Friends are not against circuses, but against using animals in circuses, shows, and for human entertainment in general, and keeping animals in circuses is a particularly primitive and cruel way of having fun. If circuses really want to offer great entertainment, then they should take example of those circuses who design spectacular shows and attract thousands without one single animal.

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