The Netherlands Bans Use of Wild Animals in Circuses

Lions, tigers, bears and more will no longer be forced to perform unnatural tricks in Dutch circuses.


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As of September 15, The Netherlands has officially outlawed the use of wild animals in circuses. Dutch animal-rights organization Wilde Dieren de Tent Uit (which translates to Wild Animals out of the Tent) has been campaigning for nine years to get the ban in place and are now working to help the animals find new suitable homes. “Although we wholeheartedly congratulate the Netherlands on passing this legislation,” Kieran Harkin, head of programs at Four Paws UK, “we are concerned what will happen to the 16 traveling circuses with 119 animals in the Netherlands. Will they simply travel to the UK and Germany where they can still work? We really need all of Europe to take action on this outdated excuse for entertainment to ensure the welfare of these remaining animals can be cared for.” The Netherlands now joins other countries such as Bolivia, Greece, Belgium, Colombia, and Mexico that have passed similar legislation.