Parliamentary questions
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11 February 2016
Question for oral answer O-000026/2016
to the Commission
Rule 128
Karin Kadenbach, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Tibor Szanyi, Susanne Melior, Fredrick Federley, Miriam Dalli, Nicola Caputo, Stefan Eck, Stelios Kouloglou, Klaus Buchner, Indrek Tarand, Ángela Vallina, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Anja Hazekamp, Kateřina Konečná, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Marisa Matias, Kostas Chrysogonos, Estefanía Torres Martínez, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Luke Ming Flanagan, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Lidia Senra Rodríguez, Viorica Dăncilă, Dario Tamburrano, Dominique Bilde, Stanisław Ożóg, Pavel Poc, Maria Noichl, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Petras Auštrevičius, Isabella De Monte, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Filiz Hyusmenova, Jacqueline Foster, Josef Weidenholzer, Keith Taylor, Eugen Freund, Evelyn Regner, Rikke Karlsson

 Subject: EU ban on the use of wild animals in circuses

Health controls relating to the movement of circus animals should be applied under Commission Regulation (EC) 1739/2005 laying down animal health requirements for the movement of circus animals between Member States.

In the EU, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is implemented through a set of regulations known as the Wildlife Trade Regulations, including Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97, which go beyond the provisions of CITES in some respects.

However, studies demonstrate that it is difficult to perform health checks and controls on trade in, and possession of, wild animals, as circuses are not only on the move much of the time, but also often change their names and the acts they employ.

In addition, the use of wild animals in circuses regularly leads to accidents involving animal tamers, circus employees and the public.

The past few years have seen increasing concerns over the ethics and safety of using wild animals in circuses, and this has led to changes in legislation in a number of Member States: 16 have already adopted a total or partial ban on their use.

Will the Commission prepare a proposal for an EU-wide ban on wild animals in circuses, so as to ensure a harmonised approach among Member States as regards both exposure to risks to public health and safety, and illegal trade in wild animals?

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