Last week the Cypriot parliament voted to amend their Animal Welfare Law in favour of a total ban on the use of all animals (wild and domestic) in circuses.
Roughly translated from Greek, the amendment reads: “The installation and operation of circuses that include in their programme any species of animal, whether to perform, parade, or simply appear before the public, is prohibited.”
This dramatic move by the government follows many discussions, both political and non-political, in recent years and has received widespread support from European animal welfare organisations. This measure means Cyprus joins Greece, which implemented a total ban of animal performances in April 2012, as the only two countries in Europe to have a complete ban on the use of all animals in circuses.
Born Free welcomes the news and congratulates the Cypriot Government, and the organisations that have worked tirelessly to end the use of animals in circuses in Cyprus. The use of animals in circuses misrepresents the true nature and attributes of the animals; require the animals to be subjected to an unnatural and often abusive lifestyle; and undermine public respect for the natural world.
Other amendments to the Animal Welfare Law include a stipulation that a National Committee must be established to protect animals used in experimental facilities and the prohibition of all ‘cosmetic mutilation’ of pets (except when deemed necessary by a vet). This latter point includes the removal of tails, ears, teeth, nails, and vocal cords.
This is great news for animal welfare and Cyprus becomes an example for other countries to follow. Well done Cyprus!