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Brazil takes a step closer to a full ban on animals in circuses

PRESS RELEASE - 18 November 2009

Progress towards a Brazilian ban on animals in travelling circuses took another step forward today as Bill No. 7291 was passed in the Commission for Constitution, Justice and Citizenship of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies. Animal Defenders International (ADI) welcomes the law's progress which entered the Commission in August 2009.

Deputy Ricardo Tripoli, who championed the law, defended its conformity with the Brazilian Constitution. He argued that circuses are cruel to animals and that, in fact, the use of animals is even contrary to the Constitution. ADI applauds the members of the Commission for Constitution, Justice and Citizenship for its unanimous vote in favour of Mr. Ricardo Tripoli's report.

ADI has been lobbying hard at all stages of the process as part of the Stop Circus Suffering campaign in Brazil. The bill proposes a ban on the use of both wild and domestic animals in circus shows, and has now gone through all the relevant commissions in the Chamber of Deputies. It can now progress to the Plenary vote, before returning to the Senate.

ADI has studied the use of animals in travelling circuses for many years; and have compiled a wealth of evidence, film footage and photographs, taken by undercover officers worldwide for its global 'Stop Circus Suffering' campaign. These investigations have shown that that the travelling and temporary nature of a circus means that even with the best will in the world, circuses cannot provide animals with adequate facilities to keep them physically or psychologically healthy. Welfare is always compromised.

ADI's Stop Circus Suffering Campaign Brazil was launched in 2008 in conjunction with Brazilian animal protection groups and with the backing of cruelty-free cosmetics company Surya.

Earlier this year, Bolivia banned the use of all animals in circuses, and a similar debate is currently being held in the Peruvian Congress, soon to be discussed in the full parliament.

Helder Constantino, ADI Head of Parliamentary Affairs, said: "We are delighted that this law is continuing to progress through the Brazilian Parliament. A ban in Brazil would have a huge impact on the circus industry in South America and would be the largest ever loss of territory to the circus industry. We are now calling on the members of the Plenary of the Chamber of Deputies to act decisively to ban all animals in travelling circuses in Brazil."

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NOTES FOR EDITORS

For further information, contact:
Amanda Gent, ADI Press Office, Tel: 020 7630 3340, Mob: 07785 552548
Email: prdesk@ad-international.org

About Animal Defenders International:
Animal Defenders International exists to educate, create awareness and alleviate the suffering of animals and works to protect wildlife and the environment through offices in London, San Francisco and Bogota.

The ADI Stop Circus Suffering campaign has now been launched throughout Europe, South America and the USA. Recently, the campaign secured a ban on the use of all animals in travelling circuses in Bolivia, with similar measures currently before the parliaments of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. Measures on the prohibition of certain species, such as wild animals, are currently being considered in the UK and Norway.

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