Victory! Colombia Passes Wild Animal Circus Ban

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The Colombian Congress today passed Bill 244,2012 to end the use of wild animals in both static and traveling circuses, after a six-year public campaign following the release of critical evidence of animal suffering collected by investigators from Animal Defenders International (ADI).

ADI led the campaign as part of its global Stop Circus Suffering initiative and the organization expressed its delight that the years of undercover investigations, scientific reviews, public debates and awareness-raising days had resulted in the ban being secured.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI said: “We congratulate the Colombian Congress for approving this Bill and are delighted that Colombia has shown that animals should not suffer for our entertainment. ADI stands ready to assist with rescue and relocation of the animals, whenever the Government of Colombia requires assistance. After this momentous decision, it is important that these animals are allowed to live out their days, free from the circus and the suffering they have endured.”

House Representative Augusto Posada, author of the Bill, said: “This is good news for the country because with the prohibition of the use of animals in circuses we are taking a significant step in the conservation of wildlife, the awareness to preserve nature and thus demonstrate that as humans we can respect the status and dignity of other species. Those who still have animal shows will have two years to evolve and allow the return of these creatures to a suitable habitat and to create new forms of entertainment without the presence of animals.”

Eduardo Peña, ADI campaigns coordinator for Latin America: “Our warmest thanks and congratulations go to more than 50 national animal protection organizations who helped with this bill, and of course the individuals, celebrities, academics, officials, congressmen, artists and non-animal circuses who joined with us to stop animal suffering in circuses in Colombia. Now circuses have the opportunity to strengthen human talent, support the Colombian Government’s ethical position and evolve shows that respect human values and protect nature.”

ADI investigators worked undercover in South American circuses for two years filming, photographing and takes notes on the deprived environments, small cages, psychological suffering and the violent and brutal treatment of animals when being handled and trained.

The evidence shocked the continent and governments in South America have been swift to take action to show that such treatment of animals is unacceptable in civilized society.

The ADI campaign was launched in Colombia in 2007 with a screening of its first investigation, the images from which were some of the most sickening ADI investigators have ever seen. Since the launch of the investigations, bans have been introduced in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay.

Bill 244, 2012 sought to prohibit all animals in circuses, however domestic species were excluded in the Senate. Circuses will have two years to comply with the new legislation.

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Striking Examples of deforestation from NASA

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Photo: Courtesy of NASA. Source: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). From Africa Atlas of our Changing Environment (2008); Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA), UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya.

Deforestation in Niger

Pctured here is the Baban Rafi Forest, which NASA calls the most significant piece of woodland in the Maradi Department of Niger. This area is located on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in Africa. On the left is Jan. 12, 1976. On the right, Feb. 2, 2007. NASA points out that the darker green areas in the 1976 photo represent the natural landscape of savannah and Sahelian vegetation. In the 2007 photo, these areas are greatly reduced, largely because the population in the area quadrupled. Agricultural demands are a major reason deforestation has increased so dramatically in the past decades. As in the case here, farmers often use these lands at near-continual production, giving the land virtually no time to recover its fertility.

Deforestation in Haiti

Here we see the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. On the left is Dec. 28, 1973. On the right is a snapshot taken Jan. 22, 2010. These photos perhaps best exemplify the political and economic strife that can exacerbate deforestation in a region. In the 2010 image, you can see significant deforestation on the Haiti side, with less occurring in the Dominican Republic. Often, the worst examples of deforestation often occur in areas in desperate need of political stability, as rising populations and unstable economies can lead to a greater encroachment on undeveloped lands. NASA calls Haiti embroiled in crisis “without parallel,” plagued by both a 2004 political coup against then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the more recent devastating earthquake of 2010 that killed more than 300,000 people.

Deforestation in Paraguay

There are two different kinds of rain forest, temperate and tropical. Both rain forests are notable for having a high accumulation of rainfall when compared to plant growth. Temperate rain forests generally have a lower rate of evaporation and cooler temperatures. They are much rarer and occur in coastal regions at 37-60° latitude. Both kinds of rain forests are found on every continent except Antarctica, and only 50 percent of these forests remain on Earth.
Here we see part of the South American Atlantic Forest, which NASA calls one of the most threatened tropical rain forests on Earth. On the left is Feb. 23, 1973. On the right is Jan. 10, 2008. In almost three decades, the forest has been cut down to only 7 percent of its original size. The forest runs along the Atlantic coast through parts of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. However, it is the Paraguay part of the forest that has been most decimated. Tropical rain forests of our planet play a key part in cooling the planet. And this is not just South America’s problem. “Tropical deforestation will disrupt rainfall pattern far outside the tropics, including China, northern Mexico, and the south-central United States,”writes NASA.

Paraguay bans wild animals in circuses

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ADI applauds Paraguay for becoming the latest country to ban the use of wild animals in circuses under Resolution 2002/12 passed this week by the Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment (Secretaría del Medio Ambiente).

Since ADI launched a major undercover investigation of animals in circuses in South America in 2007, a series of bans have swept across the continent as Governments have acted decisively to end the suffering of these animals. Bans are in place in Bolivia, Peru and now Paraguay. Legislation for the ban passed its second reading in Colombia earlier this year and legislation for a ban is well advanced in Brazil.

Jan Creamer, President of Animal Defenders International“We congratulate the Paraguayan Government for taking this progressive stand and everyone who has worked to secure this ban. This confirms how people all over the world are realising that it is no longer acceptable to confine, deprive and abuse animals in the name of entertainment.”

Horses – The Forgotten Victims Of Bullfighting

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In countries where bullfighting is allowed it is increasingly becoming recognised as sheer barbarity. This savagery involves two beautiful animals, bulls and horses. While the bulls are guaranteed to die, the future of the horses is often no brighter!  It is, after all, banned throughout the UK and the Commonwealth nations, as well as most of Europe because it is deemed cruel & barbaric.

The tormented bull does not understand that it is the man on the horse’s back that is causing his pain, only that he is in agony. He therefore sees the horse as his enemy as much as the man, nor does the bull differentiate breeds.

Do not confuse the “picadors” with another form of bullfighting performed from horseback. This activity is known in Spain as “el rejoneo” where it forms a part of “Andalusian” horse culture and is known in Portugal as “toureio ecuestre” where it is, and has historically been, the dominant form of bullfighting.

These horses are very expensive & are beautiful, elegant & fast on their feet. They flit around the ring like a ballerina; but it only takes one wrong turn & they too can be fatally gored! These are a hot blooded breed of horse, like the “Anglo Arab” that can perform alta escuela (high school) movements in front of the bull but react quickly to its sudden charge. The aim of the “rejoneador”  is to demonstrate his skill in horsemanship and intuition by allowing the bull to come as close to the horse as possible without placing it in danger. The risk to these horses is further lessened in a “corrida de rejones” by the fact that the tips of the bull’s horns are either blunted or covered, the rider does not allow the bull to run and knock his mount, as is the case with the “picador”.

In bullfights with “picadors”  (men on horseback armed with spears)

The horses are usually a cold blooded breed such as a “Percheron” (heavy horse, not that graceful) they are there to be charged at. “Picadors” are used to not only injure the bull with the spears in it’s neck, but to also tire the bull.

 These days they usually wear a skirt termed a “peto”  The horse will stand with their off (right hand) sides open to the bull’s charge, and for this reason the picador wears armour on his right leg only. The bull would be encouraged to charge at one of the picador’s mounts, however the “Peto” does little to protect the horse if the bulls horns get under it; although it does stop the public seeing the horses entrails ripped out.

Perhaps the worst fiesta with bulls and horses happens in Mexico, during an event which is  known as “saca tripas” (‘gutting’), where many riders on unprotected horses chase a bull in the confines of a closed bullring, like the video below. The bull charges the horses & if caught up with, will invariably, gore them; some to death.

“Have you never wondered why the horse stands still in the bullring, right in the path of a charging bull??

They don’t move because the “picadors” horses ears are usually filled with paper to block out the sounds of the cheering crowd & that of the charging bull; they are also blindfolded. It is also believed that some have their vocal cords cut so they can’t make noise…which ever it is, no horse would willingly pit itself against a bull…horses are flight not fight animals. Even the expensive bred “Andalusian” or “Anglo Arab” horses are forced to perform by the rider, not by choice!

(You can clearly see in the picture, the horse is blindfolded & its ear’s are wrapped to block out noise)

“As a horse owner for 40 years, this infuriates the hell out of me. I don’t give a crap whether the horse cost  £10 or £10,000; they don’t deserve to die such horrible deaths! I can only imagine the sheer panic these terrified equines endure. I have cried so many times over videos like this but I feel most people only think of the bull; so I intend to educate you otherwise!”

Please sign the petitions to stop this brutal sport, there are many more on line!

“These beautiful sentient equines are used to entertain paying crowds, who lust for blood; which they usually get. They claim that bullfighting is a “tradition” & “cultural heritage” so it is, but it doesn’t make it right to carry on doing it!  It was also tradition to “burn witches at the stake”, but we don’t do it any more because we know its wrong; we now live in a more civilised society, supposedly! I am so sick of animals being tortured, abused  or killed, all in the name of “Tradition”.  I say stuff tradition, what about morals, empathy & feelings? we are not chest beating barbarians who know no better, or are we??

This is just one of many videos where the horse is literally gutted;  P.S It probably will put you off your tea! Please don’t support this cruelty

Viewer discretion is strongly advised; but if you want to see what really happens..this is  a Mexican bullfight!

“The following looks like an Andalusian, very expensive breed. It is still breathing so no idea what that muppet is doing jumping up & down on its chest, the description say’s it collapsed of a heart attack ; plus 2 other fatalities ” 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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