On Friday, February 3rd, Greece became the first European country to ban all animals from circuses and similar performances. This decision was made following a campaign by ADI and the Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF), backed by over 50 local animal protection groups across Greece. The new animal protection law also addresses a number of important issues concerning stray animals.

Evgenia Mataragka of the GAWF,who is based in Athens said: “We are delighted that Greece has said no to cruelty in the name of entertainment. We have witnessed terrible suffering of animals in traveling circuses here and these animals often have to endure long journeys by sea from Italy. Many municipalities have already banned animal circuses in Greece, so we believe that this will be a popular with Greek people.”

One year ago, Bolivia took the first step and banned all animals from circuses. Also in February 2011, ADI completed an enforcement operation with the Bolivian authorities closing down and rescuing every animal from circuses defying the law. This involved relocating 29 lions to the USA as well as rescuing primates and horses. Then in In July 2011, Peru banned wild animals in circuses following an undercover investigation and campaign by ADI. In North and South America, Legislation is currently being considered by the Governments of the USA, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.

On the European front, Austria currently has a ban on wild animal acts. Several other European countries including Portugal, Denmark and Croatia have measures to ban or phase out wild animals in circuses. The UK will now be under considerable pressure to implement a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. This action was called for by an overwhelming vote last year. It is becoming increasingly clear now that the days are numbered for keeping animals in travelling facilities and forcing them to do tricks in the name of entertainment. Many thanks to Greece for being one of the first countries to lead the way on this.

Responses to "Greece becomes the first European country to ban all animals from circuses"

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Thank God this ban on animals in circuses is finally happening... when will the rest of the world follow suit? I love the gymnastics and tricks of human beings in the circus and there is no need to force animals to suffer anymore. I think we humans can come up with enough ways to "entertain" ourselves!

  3. Anonymous says:

    we need to make the a world wide happening!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Greece on their fantastic decision to end this barbaric animal cruelty. All the other countries must now do the same. Great news,and one more tiny step towards civilization! There's no excuse for animal abuse...None!

    Irene M,Ireland.

  5. This is VERY great news!!!!!

  6. Travis Sheerer....Bath Me USA says:

    the world has been in an animal cruelty rapid fire for ages now, i think of all the things that happen and it hurts! for once i see a victory for the animals:) HOOORRRAYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    It's about time someone has taken a step in the right direction. There is no reason why humans should impose their will on animals just for the sake of greed and entertainment!

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