Parliamentary questions
16 May 2017
O-000042/2017
Question for oral answer
to the Commission
Rule 128
Marlene Mizzi, Karin Kadenbach, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Petras Auštrevičius, Georges Bach, Brando Benifei, Lynn Boylan, Paul Brannen, Jerzy Buzek, Klaus Buchner, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Nessa Childers, Isabella De Monte, Pascal Durand, Stefan Eck, Jacqueline Foster, Neena Gill, Julie Girling, Michela Giuffrida, Maria Grapini, Anja Hazekamp, Stelios Kouloglou, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Sabine Lösing, Emma McClarkin, Andrejs Mamikins, Florent Marcellesi, Alex Mayer, Valentinas Mazuronis, Roberta Metsola, Molly Scott Cato, Maria Noichl, Younous Omarjee, Demetris Papadakis, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Pavel Poc, Jiří Pospíšil, Emil Radev, Bronis Ropė, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Alfred Sant, Davor Škrlec, Bart Staes, Catherine Stihler, Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu, Keith Taylor, Valdemar Tomaševski, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Marco Zullo

 Subject: An EU ban on the movement of wild circus animals

Health controls relating to the movement of circus animals should be applied through Commission Regulation (EC) No 1739/2005 of 21 October 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 of 9 December 1996, which go beyond the provisions of CITES in some respects.

However, studies have demonstrated that health checks and controls on trade in and possession of wild animals are difficult to exercise, as circuses not only are on the move for 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 members of the public.

The past few years have seen increasing concerns being expressed about the ethics and safety of using wild animals in circuses, which has led to changes in legislation in a number of Member States, 18 of which have already adopted a total or partial ban on their use.

Will the Commission use its new powers under the Animal Health Law to introduce a ban on the movement of wild circus animals within the Union, so as to ensure that exposure to public health and safety risks and the risk of illegal trade in wildlife is uniformly reduced across the Member States, and will it lend assistance to enforcing the national bans that have already been put in place in the majority of Member States?

Last updated: 19 May 2017Legal notice