The Malta Independent 18 July 2024, Thursday
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Bill to ban animal circuses expected by year’s end

Malta Independent Sunday, 1 September 2013, 08:17 Last update: about 11 years ago

A White Paper on animal circuses has been drafted and will be presented to Cabinet in the coming weeks, The Malta Independent has learnt.

Following feedback the government had received on whether animal circuses should be banned, sources said the absolute majority (94%) of those who submitted their views believe a ban should be in place. Some 398 individuals and NGOs had participated in the public consultation, held earlier this summer.

Organisers of animal circuses also gave their views.

The intention is to have the subject discussed in Parliament by means of a Bill, by the year’s end.

The public consultation questionnaire asked respondents a number of questions, whilst giving them the opportunity to explain their answer in detail: space for additional comments was also available. Questions included the obvious one – whether they agree with the use of animals in circuses – and other related matters, such as whether a ban should cover all species or solely wild animals, and whether the existing structures are sufficient to enforce animal welfare laws.

Among the reasons given in favour of a ban to animal circuses is the training required to teach wild animals to perform, and NGOs and animal lovers insist a degree of cruel treatment is inevitably required to get such animals to act in an unnatural way.

Transportation of animals is often also cited as another reason. Animal circuses travel constantly, in conditions that many believe are inadequate. Another argument is the often inadequate housing which is provided to the animals when a circus is set up.

Local NGOs and animal rights activists protested whenever an animal circus came to Malta in recent years. This publishing house has also repeatedly called for such a ban to be implemented on the same grounds as mentioned.

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