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Parliamentary questions
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25 August 2015
Question for written answer E-012150-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Igor Šoltes (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Cruelty to circus animals and bad conditions in circuses across Europe
 Answer in writing 

In Europe there are said to be more than a thousand travelling circuses with performing animals. These are frequently treated cruelly, cowed into submission, and subjected to physical pain and other forms of ill-treatment. They spend all their time in undersized, cramped cages and are denied even rudimentary veterinary care. When training animals (wild or tame), circuses often employ appallingly cruel methods, involving the use of sticks, hooks, sharp spears, and electric shocks. One obvious fact is that there is as yet no legislation at EU level governing the whole area concerned, as European law regulates only given aspects, for example healthcare for circus animals moving between Member States, but not the protection of animals in circuses, which remains entirely a matter for Member States. Some countries have imposed certain restrictions regarding circus animals, but in most Member States regulation is still sketchy and inadequate.

— Is the Commission aware of the controversial circus practices and the bad conditions under which circus animals live?

— Will it establish a comprehensive system of regulation with a view to protecting/banning (wild and tame) circus animals so as to rule out practices contrary to the most basic standards of animal welfare?

Original language of question: SL 
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