Mexico circus owners say new animal laws will result in death

Due to Mexico’s continual ban on animal abuse, the head of the country’s circus owner’s association says his animals may just die.

Armando Cedeno says that the new law banning the use of animals in circuses does not include any provisions as to who will take care of the animals once the ban is in effect.

Large animals such as elephants and large cats cost nearly $100 a day to feed. With the animals no longer being able to ‘work’, Cedeno says many of them will likely have to be put down.

“If we can’t feed them, we’re going to have to put them to sleep. We don’t have any other option,” Cedeno explains while providing a tour of a ranch north of Mexico City. Cedeno says that there are about 200 circuses around Mexico with permits to use animals in circus shows and this ban could affect thousands of animals.

The federal ban, which has been headed by Mexico’s Green Party, is set to go into full effect July 8. Out of Mexico’s 31 states, 12 already participate in the new law.

Lourdes Lopez Moreno, a Green Party member who leads the environment committee in congress’ Chamber of Deputies, says “The inspection of circuses doesn’t work. There are no data for how many circuses there are, how many animals. Ten circuses a year are reviewed.

“We find cases of physical and psychological abuse, the feeding and training programs are not correct,” Lopez said.

A spokesman for The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Stephen Payne, says these circuses will not be coming to Mexico this year due to the bans.

Circus owners say that the bans do little to protect current circus animals.

The new laws, which are meant to protect circus animals from mistreatment, require all circuses to submit the list of animals they own. This list will then be shared with zoos that may be able to take the animals. However, many of Mexico’s public zoos are cash-strapped and are not certain if they could offer a compensation to take on any of the animals.

Cedeno figures about 10 percent of Mexico’s circuses have shut down due to the new animal ban, while Jamie Castillo, a trapeze performer, says “I am out of work directly because of the Green Party campaign, and the drop in ticket sales that led us to bankruptcy.”

To that, Lopez notes, “you can have a circus without animals. You can change what’s offered and the public’s culture.”