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ADI Action Against Circuses in Spain

San Fernando de Henares acts on ADI evidence of animal suffering in circuses

After reviewing evidence provided by Animal Defenders International (ADI) on animal suffering in circuses, the City Hall Plenary of San Fernando de Henares unanimously approved a motion on 18 February 2010 to amend local legislation, banning animal circuses in the municipality.

The motion, approved by all the political parties, makes San Fernando de Henares the first municipality in the Autonomous Community of Madrid to ban the use of animals in circuses. This marks a pivotal moment for the region regarding the use of animals in entertainment, matching similar bans around Catalonia (including Barcelona, Iledia, Girona, Sant Adria del Besós amongst others).

ADI congratulated the authority of San Fernando de Henares on their swift action to protect animals in travelling circuses, and for setting an example for other municipalities in the region. ADI’s evidence clearly demonstrates that given the circumstances of constant travelling, small and temporary accommodation and deprived environments, frequently social isolation and daily brutality, travelling circuses simply cannot provide animals with the facilities they need to keep them healthy.

Local Councillors were presented with ADI’s report “Animals in travelling circuses: the Science on Suffering” and ADI’s Spanish campaign partner, AnimaNaturalis, lobbied councillors. The follows the launch of ADI and AnimaNaturalis’ highly successful campaign in Spain to raise awareness amongst the public and circus workers of the cruelty that goes on behind the scenes at travelling circuses.

Councillor Joaquín Martínez presented the arguments in favour of the motion in the Plenary. According to press reports, Councillor Martinez said that this initiative followed from complaints made by local residents on maltreatment of circus animals. He added that shows that are orientated to children should evolve to generate awareness and respect for animals.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI, said: “Our awareness campaign has sent shockwaves throughout Spain and reached the Autonomous Community of Madrid. We are delighted that the councillors of San Fernando de Henares have read ADI’s report “Animals in travelling circuses: the Science on Suffering” and have taken action by passing legislation that will ban animal circuses in their jurisdiction. We urge other municipalities of the Community of Madrid to follow this compassionate step, and help make circus suffering in Spain a thing of the past”

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