The history of the circus dates back to the ancient civilisations. For many years animals have been part of circus shows They have been made to wear costumes, they have been caricatured, ridiculed, subjugated and transformed into “animal artists”.
Animals in the circus, both in Spain and in other places, are forced to do things and get into postures which are not appropriate to their species and physiology. This provokes serious problems such as physiological responses to stress, emotional and physical disorders, abnormal behaviour, health problems, etc. These activities lack any educative value as they do not show the true nature of the animals in question.
The travelling nature of the circus makes it impossible to provide adequate surroundings and social groups for the animals. They are forced to live in small spaces such as cages or trailers, chained up and always on the move.
In 2017 there are 400 towns free from circuses with wild animals throughout Spain.
The use of wild animals for entertainment also makes for serious problems regarding their training. Wild species, which are obviously not naturally adapted to living with and having contact with humans, cannot be trained based on positive reinforcement, as is the case with domestic animals. This means it is necessary to rely on violent or abusive techniques (such as the premature separation of mothers and their offspring) in order to be able to control them. In some cases they even go so far as sedating the animals or maiming them.
As it is impossible to control the instincts of a wild animal, any kind of training or interaction with them also implies risks to people (both to circus workers and to the audience).
In Spain there is no public registry of circuses, nor of the animals kept by them, which means the exact number of registered circuses is unknown. Also unknown is the number of visitors they receive, the tours they do, where they set up or even the animals traded between circuses.
At the state level
Through InfoCIRCOS, a coalition made up of the organisations ANDA, AAP, AnimaNaturalis, Born Free Foundation and FAADA. It was founded in order to protect all wild animals used in circus shows, both in Spain and in other European countries.
At European level