Bolivia Bans Circus Animals as Matter of Animal Cruelty

240px-Circus_Lion_TamerBolivia has enacted the world’s first ban on all animals at a circus — both wild and domestic animals — because such use “constitutes an act of cruelty.” The ban comes just days after the latest video of alleged abuse of elephants released by PETA. While some countries ban the use of animals in circus, this is the first to encompass both wild and domesticated animals.

The law is a response to an undercover investigation by the nonprofit-making London-based group Animal Defenders International (ADI), which revealed cruel conditions and practices in circuses in Bolivia.

For the full story, click here.

12 thoughts on “Bolivia Bans Circus Animals as Matter of Animal Cruelty”

  1. “not consider this a matter of anthropomorphic behavior but as an ethical duty of care owed animals we’ve created via genetic manipulation.”

    Buddha,
    I don’t really disagree with this. As a current cat owner I do feel a duty to my remaining cat. Her brother died four months ago from cancer and was with us to its’ death. We would not opt for euthanasia if he was not in pain and we cleaned his messes and cared for him as best we could until he died at home. Here’s the point, neither my wife nor I are what you would call pet people. I love animals though and curiously they are drawn to me, but in my druthers I’d rather not be bothered. These two cats belonged to our youngest daughter, who was in a living situation where she couldn’t keep them. With the two of us retired, we found that even going on trips was limited due to the responsibility of their care. Many would euthanize them as some of our friends advised, but we couldn’t do that to somewhat sentient beings that have lived with you all your lives and by that fact you have grown to love. By the same token I do know that for many lonely people their pets are of great comfort and also pets have aided people with severe mental illness.

    When I talked of anthropomorphism it was in the context of the many who view these animals as their children. I don’t begrudge that, but do personally find it strange especially in some people I know who dote on their pets, but hate people.
    That feeling no doubt was a factor in the rage against Vick.
    What he did was cruel and is a sad comment on his psyche. We know for instance that animal cruelty is a common thread in the history of serial killers and the former President.

    However, you are correct in the deeper context that you have provided, there is an ethical duty we have to care for our genetic creations (was astonished by PBS show on dogs tracing them back only 10,000 years)and for the animals we maintain. I abhor cruelty in any context, though in truth in fantasy I’m able to think cruel thoughts about some of those who have screwed up our country. Certainly cruelty to animals “because we can,” or because it’s profitable is abhorrent and so I stand corrected by the deeper context you’ve added to the discussion.

  2. Mike,

    “It is about how they have become anthropomorphized by a large percentage of owners. Therefore Vick’s cruelty was seen personally ass a vicarious assault on someone’s own dog.”

    Might I counter: There are some who would not consider this a matter of anthropomorphic behavior but as an ethical duty of care owed animals we’ve created via genetic manipulation. These animals in their current forms would not exist but for human intervention. I think it self-evident that we owe them varying duties according to the degree and purposes of our intervention in their genome. In the case of dogs and cats, we in the West not only use them for work and companionship we do so at the exclusion of their consumption. I think this is fair as consumption was not the primary purpose nor the most beneficial aspect of the man/dog/cat relationships throughout history. Concurrently this would translate to a duty to kill animals bred for food purposes with a minimal amount of cruelty and to care for wild animals in captivity as humanely as possible (or to not keep them at all). This question of duty to care for “created” creatures is a very present and relevant point given the current state of biological science. It’s a far deeper concern than sympathetic projection that the term anthropomorphism implies.

    As a personal aside, deciding this question could be important in more ways than one to us as a species. If you haven’t read David Brin’s Uplift series, I invite you to check them out. This question is central to the series.

    In re Russia. They also eat bear and have for a long, long time. Not that it in any way condones the cruelty of their misuse in the circus, but there is more cultural context to the relationship between man and bear in Russia than simple cruelty for cruelties sake.

  3. “I find it ironic that a society that vilifies Michale Vick for dog fighting, flocks to circuses where animals are treated terribly.”

    Mespo,
    It is terribly ironic Mespo and yet I daresay many wouldn’t get the irony. Dogs and Cats have been given exalted status in this country, to the point of nausea. I grew up owning Dogs and now I am a cat owner, so this is not about having these animals as pets. It is about how they have become anthropomorphized by a large percentage of owners. Therefore Vick’s cruelty was seen personally ass a vicarious assault on someone’s own dog. The man was given considerable jail time, lost millions and even now has to do penance if he hopes to again play football.

    Meanwhile, elephants, lions, tigers apes and monkeys gambol in the circus, without anyone realizing the conditions they are kept in, or the cruelty inflicted. None of these animals make pets so no one cares or is offended. I’m not a PETA member or fan for that matter and I love to eat meat so I don’t come at this from a place of too lofty idealism. As I’ve stated there has always seemed to be a patina of sadism and cruelty, lurking beneath the bright colors and smiling faces of Circuses. IN Russia, a Circus mad country, bear baiting is quite popular, for instance.

    The last point regarding Vick is that there is another NFL Star, whose name escapes me, who has been sentenced to six month for a DUI related death and no outrage has erupted. Vick was a cruel SOB, mitigated by the fact he grew up in a dog fighting culture, who deserved punishment. The punishment,
    however, seems way out of proportion to the crime given that Circuses travel constantly all over the country.

  4. Swarthmore Mom,

    Be sure to sterilize (as in clean thoroughly) your daughter. You wouldn’t want any of Rupert to stick to her. I’m pretty sure he’s a carcinogen.

    As to the circus issue, what mespo said.

  5. I hope he is miserable. It is scary that one man has the power to spread so many lies.

  6. Damn and to think that the detainees are treated so well.

    I guess this is why we don’t have corporal punishment, which went by the way side in elementary school.

    Not bad for a country that used the native(s) and others as forced labor. Where have I heard that term used before?

    By the late 16th century Bolivian silver was an important source of revenue for the Spanish empire.[12] A steady stream of natives served as labor force (the Spanish employed the pre-Columbian draft system called the mita)

    Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivia

    SWMom, no I have not gone. So how is the King of Media?

  7. I find it ironic that a society that vilifies Michale Vick for dog fighting, flocks to circuses where animals are treated terribly. Perhaps, if Vick had opened his operation up to the public and thrown in a few clowns, he would have had a better time of it.

  8. AY How was the circus? Rupert Murdoch literally ran into my daughter at a Greek restaurant in NYC. She didn’t recognize him but the rest of us did.

Comments are closed.