BOGOTA, Colombia––The Constitutional Court of Colombia on May 14, 2014 upheld a ban on the use of wild animals, native or exotic, in circuses and traveling animal shows. The ban was approved by the Colombian Congress in June 2013.
The Constitutional Court ratified an earlier verdict by magistrate Jorge Iván Palacio.
Colombia joined Boliva, Ecuador, Peru, and Paraguay in prohibiting wildlife use in circuses, at urging of the British-based organization Animal Defenders International. Similar bans were adopted in Greece in 2012 and Cyprus in June 2013. British agriculture minister David Heath in April 2013 introduced a draft bill which would require circuses to end wild animal acts by the beginning of December 2015, but it has not advanced.
Animal Defenders International, with branch offices in Los Angeles, California, and Bogota, Columbia, is an affiliate of the National Anti-Vivisection Society of Britain [not related to the U.S. organization of the same name], the Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research, and the British organization Animal Defenders, founded in 1990. All are headed by longtime National Anti-Vivisection Society of Britain chief executive Jan Creamer.