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Warsaw, Poland Bans Animal Circuses

Poland's capital to put an end to exploiting wild animals for entertainment in traveling circuses.

On Tuesday, Warsaw, Poland Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz announced that trained animals will be banned at traveling circuses. Gronkiewicz-Waltz stated that the city will not support the operation of such establishments by denying city permits to any circus shows that use trained animals for entertainment purposes. "We want to set a good example of good relations between man and animal," Gronkiewicz-Waltz said, adding that "the use of animals for entertainment purposes has been stirring ever-greater controversy not just in Poland but all over the world.” Several cities in Poland including Wroclaw and Slupsk have recently implemented similar bans. While these actions demonstrate some progress for animal rights in Poland, the mayor indicated that the ban does not apply to private circuses and also stated that “tigers will only be found at the zoo,” which is still a place of confinement for wild animals. Last year, Mexico passed legislation that banned the use of wild animals such as zebras, baboons, camels, tigers, lions, and elephants in its 200 registered circuses. Stateside, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus recently announced their intention to retire circus elephants two years early, albeit to a dubious sanctuary owned by the circus company.

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