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Brazilian Deputies approve legislation to ban animal circuses

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Brazilian Deputies approve legislation to ban animal circuses

Animal Defenders International (ADI) is overjoyed that a ban on the use of animals in circuses is within reach in Brazil.

Bill No. 7291 presented by the Congressman Antonio Carlos Biffi, has passed through the Commission of Education and Culture of the Chamber of Deputies in the Brazilian Congress. Following an intense debate with a strong presence of circus lobbyists and animal protection groups, the bill was unanimously approved in the Commission.

The approval of the bill follows intensive lobbying lead by ADI as part of the Stop Circus Suffering campaign in Brazil. This was launched in 2008 in conjunction with Brazilian animal protection groups and with the backing of cruelty-free cosmetics company Surya. An ADI undercover investigation revealed a disturbing insight behind the scenes of Brazil’s circus industry, including:

Camels being punched, hit with a stick, struck with a tent pole, and their lips being twisted to inflict pain;

A solitary elephant chained by the legs barely able to move;

A child allowed to torment a camel;

A camel forced to travel whilst pregnant and giving birth in a temporary pen on bare concrete;

A solitary bear forced to live in a cage on the back of a lorry;

A llama having its ear twisted to make it obey;

An elephant chained in a noisy and frightening environment, in a stadium with deafening engine noise and flashing lights.

The bill bans the use of both wild and domestic animals in circus shows. The Commission compromised by allowing 8 years for the implementation of the law. The bill will next be discussed in the Constitutional Commission and then in the Plenary.

This positive step forward comes very soon after the bill to ban all animals in circuses was approved by the Bolivian Congress and it is waiting for the Presidential assent to become a law. A similar debate was held in the Peruvian Congress, who last week passed a move to ban animals in circuses in the Agrarian and Andean Peoples Commission. The bill will soon be discussed in the full parliament.

ADI Head of Parliamentary Affairs, Helder Constantino, who attended the debate in the Brazilian Commission, says "There is incredible momentum in South America to secure legislation banning the use of all animals in circuses and Brazil is part of it. We salute the hard work of the Commission of Education and Culture for not buckling under the pressure of the circus industry. The video and photographic evidence that we collected in Brazil, among other places in South America, shows clearly how animals suffer and are abused in circuses. We hope that the Brazilian Congress will approve this bill and make and important stand in ending the suffering of animals in the name of entertainment."


Animal Defenders International (ADI)

With offices in London, San Francisco and Bogotá, Animal Defenders International (ADI) campaigns to protect animals in entertainment, replacement of animals in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation. ADI also rescues animals in distress worldwide. Our evidence has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them.

For further information, contact ADI Public Relations Officer,

Office Tel: 020 7630 3344

Mobile: 07785 552548

Email: [email protected]

The ‘Science of Suffering’ Brazil report is available here (in Portuguese):

ADI footage from South America is available here: 

The ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ website is here: 


Animal Defenders International

Millbank Tower



tel. +44 (0)20 7630 3340

fax. +44 (0)20 7828 2179


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