Parliamentary questions
16 June 2016
O-000090/2016
Question for oral answer
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, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, Viorica Dăncilă, Dario Tamburrano, Dominique Bilde, 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 in respect of 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 of Wild Fauna and Flora (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 controls relating to the health, trading or possession of wild animals are difficult to carry out, as circuses are not only on the move much of the time but also 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.

Over the past few years there has been increasing concern over the ethics and safety of using wild animals in circuses, and this has led to changes in the legislation of a number of Member States, 16 of which have already adopted a total or partial ban on the use of such animals.

Will the Commission prepare a proposal for an EU-wide ban on wild animals in circuses, so as to ensure that the level of exposure to risks for public health and security, and to illegal trade in wildlife, is harmonised among the Member States?

Last updated: 20 June 2016Legal notice