Day: October 14, 2021

EU: 1 million EU citizens ask Commission to ban wild animals in circuses.

1 million EU citizens ask Commission to ban wild animals in circuses

Members of the Stop Circus Suffering campaign gathered outside the European Commission’s Berlaymont building on Wednesday (13 October) to celebrate the collection of 1 million signatures on a petition to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

The ceremony was led by the animal welfare association Eurogroup for Animals and wildlife protection coalition InfoCircos, who started the petition in 2018. The two groups handed the petition over to MEPs Eleonora Evi (Greens/EFA) and Anja Hazekamp (the Left), who will submit the signatures to the Commission.

“One million citizens have spoken. Now we need to turn this public mobilisation into political engagement. Only an EU-wide ban can guarantee the end of this outdated entertainment and provide a coherent and effective solution to the physical and emotional suffering of wild animals in circuses,” said Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Eurogroup for Animals.

In a February 2021 survey across seven member states, the Eurogroup for Animals found that 68% of respondents felt that using wild animals in circuses is cruel and that wild animals should not be used for public entertainment.

“European citizens have had enough of wild animals being abused in circuses,” said Marta Merchan, coordinator of InfoCircos.

Four Paws, one of the 81 animal advocacy groups within the Eurogroup for Animals, was present at Wednesday’s ceremony.

“It is beyond time to end this cruel practice and adopt a coordinated and full ban on the use of wild animals in circuses EU-wide,” said Pierre Sultana, director of the Four Paws European Policy Office.

Risks and solutions

Nineteen EU member states have adopted national bans on the use of wild animals in circuses, three of which prohibit the use of all species, according to a recent report from the Eurogroup for Animals.

The UK and five EU member states have brought forward general restrictions to protect animals in circuses. Still, the organisation says regulations tend to differ between countries and do not yet exist in several member states.

Many EU countries still allow circus animals to be transported across their borders to get to countries without restrictions where the circuses can perform. This poses a severe public safety risk and health and welfare risks for animals, experts said.

“Wild animals in circuses greatly suffer from physical and social deprivations, and their training is frequently based on punishment. Animals who are forced to live in unnatural conditions can react in ways which pose a risk to their tamers,” Evi said.

Organisation leaders emphasised the importance of an EU-wide ban because national bans do not prevent the cross-border transportation of wildlife.

Eurogroup for Animals recorded 14 EU countries with a total of 254 circuses that house wild animals. Germany topped the list, with 75 circuses and approximately 200 wild animals, excluding camelids (a category of animals that includes camels, alpacas and llamas).

The report also includes information on rescue centres and sanctuaries in Europe and South Africa, all of which have been deemed “particularly appropriate to rescue circus animals.”

“Public support for the use of wild animals for entertainment is long gone,” said Hazekamp. “It’s time to show future generations that animals deserve our respect and protection and should not suffer in circuses.”

1 million EU citizens ask Commission to ban wild animals in circuses –

Regards Mark

Greyhound racing in Spain

⚠️ Did you know that greyhound racing is still practiced in Spain?
📹 We have managed to infiltrate a team in several races to show how alive one of the practices that causes thousands of abandonments and deaths of greyhounds every year follows.

Dogs are forced to undergo tough training and are treated as mere tools to win competitions and bets. When they are not in their best physical condition, they are abandoned or killed in horrible ways.

In many places, hunting and racing dogs are considered work tools, so many companion animal welfare regulations do not apply to them.

The dogs used in hunting are the forgotten victims of this terrible activity.

They spend their days confined in cheniles and small cages, starving and cold, with almost no contact except when the hunters collect them. And once they are old and useless for the activity, they are abandoned or killed.

Greyhound racing is very popular in Spain, especially in Andalusia. Dogs are forced to run to exhaustion, maintaining tough training and treated as mere tools to win competitions and bets. When greyhounds are no longer in peak physical condition, they are killed in horrible ways.

There is no single registry to obtain abandonment data and thus be able to have official figures on the situation of greyhounds, hounds and other dogs used in hunting and racing.

Only through a total census in Spain can these animals be controlled and protected, as well as prosecute the irresponsibility of those who are in their charge.

We are working to achieve a state animal welfare framework law that ensures maximum protection for these animals and the modification of the animal protection laws of each Autonomous Community, as well as toughen penalties for abandonment and abuse.

We are working so that the “rehalas” (groups of between 16 to 40 hunting dogs) are no longer considered objects of “cultural interest”, eliminating all public subsidies intended to promote this practice.

We work to prosecute the mistreatment and abandonment of these animals so that no case goes unpunished before the law.

We are working to ban the training of greyhounds tied to motor vehicles.

The Spanish greyhound is a breed used both for hunting and for racing in different regions of Spain, especially in Andalusia, Castilla La Mancha and Castilla y León.

Only in Seville, it is estimated that 5,000 abandonments occur annually, and some estimate that in Spain about 50,000 greyhounds and other hunting dogs are abandoned.

The need to nip the problem at its roots is imperative, changing the laws that (un) protect greyhounds and dogs used for hunting in general.

✍️ Sign NOW to help us demand equal protection for all animals, because none should ever be considered a mere work or competition tool

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And I mean...For centuries the greyhound was used as a hunting companion for the nobility. He belonged to the elite among the dog breeds, was considered a status symbol and was, accordingly, well looked after.

However, this once so valued and cherished breed was degraded at the beginning of the 20th century, through its use in modern dog races, to pure sports equipment, to a commodity “greyhound”.
From that point on, greyhound breeders, dog track operators, dog owners and trainers exploited them mercilessly.

They are bred for one purpose only: to win races.
Because greyhound races bring big money.

Most problematic in Spain is the large number of unofficial competitions organized privately by the Galgueros.
Galgueros, the breeders of this breed, use the animals in Spain for hare hunting and greyhound races.

A really good galgo that takes part in competitions can be worth up to 30,000 euros, so galgos are often stolen.
Some breeders therefore keep their valuable specimens in bunkers.

A lot of money is involved here – as well as the reputation of the breeders.

Because of the Galgos, around 1 billion euros are turned over annually and 27,000 jobs are directly related to them, the entire hunter community moves 3 billion euros annually.
And wherever there is a lot of money, an animal is always degraded to a commodity.

Galgos are a disposable product for most growers these days.
Tens of thousands of them are cruelly killed in Spain every year.
Even a champion hardly stays with his owner for more than four years, and the animals can reach an age of 15 years.

Those who are not fast enough for the races are mercilessly and often painfully killed: shot, drowned or abandoned with broken limbs in the woods, or end up in a rescue station, a so-called perrera, which are considered killing stations.

Thanks to the efforts of animal rights activists, at least one particularly cruel tradition could be banned: death by “playing the piano”.

Animals that “disgraced” their breeder were hung from a tree just high enough for their toes to touch the ground.
In the agony of death, the dogs tapped their paws up and down in panic, which is vaguely reminiscent of playing the piano.
This method is now prohibited by law.

Spain is the only EU country where hunting with galgos is still allowed.
How long does the European Community want to watch this barbarism inactive?

My best regards to all, Venus