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End of the use of wild animals in the circus approved today in the specialty

The end of the use of wild animals in the circus, such as monkeys, lions and elephants, was approved today in parliament in the speciality, with the final text establishing a moratorium of six years, informed the People-Animals-Nature (PAN) party.

The information was provided by the deputy André Silva, of PAN, a party that triggered in December 2017 the discussion of the subject in the Assembly of the Republic.

The final text, approved today by the Working Group on the Participation of Animals in Circuses and ratified by the Committee on Culture, Communication, Youth and Sport, brings together proposals for amendments to the PAN, PS and BE, which had been presented in December 2017, alongside the PCP and the ENP, bills that have ‘fallen’ to the specialty.

The bill, which will have to be voted on in plenary, which, according to Mr André Silva, is expected to happen only in December, includes a proposal to amend the PSD which restricts the species of wild animals covered, without clarifying whether they are included in both captive animals such as those coming from their natural habitat.

According to the text approved today, references to wild animals “refer exclusively to specimens of the species included in the lists” in two annexes of a March decree on the prohibition or conditioning of the holding of live specimens.

These species lists include monkeys, elephants, tigers, lions, bears, seals, crocodiles, penguins, hippos, rhinoceroses, snakes and ostriches.

The new law states that animals, which must be registered in a national register, can only be used in the circus in a transitional period of six years, after which their use is now prohibited and punishable by misdemeanours.

It will be for the Government to set up a program of voluntary delivery of animals used in circuses as well as a line of financial incentives for the retraining and professional qualification of workers of circus companies (handlers or handlers) who voluntarily deliver the animals they use.

The Government will also have to define the entity responsible for ensuring the registration and processing of data in the National Register of Animals Used in the Circus, to be created, for making the seizures of animals kept illegally in the enclosures and for relocating the animals voluntarily delivered by their owners or holders.

Circus companies have spoken out against the ban on wild animals in circuses, with Portuguese representatives at the European Circus Association arguing that their resource contributes to the preservation of biodiversity.

Circus owners also claim that captive animals are kept in other enclosures for display at shows.

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