People, Environment

Ban on Circus Animals Takes Effect Sooner than Expected

Ban on Circus Animals Takes Effect Sooner than ExpectedBan on Circus Animals Takes Effect Sooner than Expected

Iran has effectively banned the use (and abuse) of animals in circuses across the country, four months earlier than officials had initially planned.

In a statement published on the Department of Environment website, Farhad Dabiri, deputy for biodiversity and natural environment, said the circuses were originally given until the end of the Iranian month of Shahrivar (September 21) to remove shows involving animals.

“Of the 26 circuses in Iran that use animals, 25 have completely removed animal shows and one in Tehran has submitted a written statement that it will follow suit in two months,” Dabiri said, according to ISNA.

Following the inception of a social campaign in 2014 called “No to Circus!”  -- that was quickly endorsed by government and provincial officials —pressure began to mount on circuses to end their animal acts.

Finally, the DOE stopped issuing permits allowing the use of wildlife in circuses on March 20.

Iran now joins a handful of countries, including Peru, Bolivia, Greece, the Netherlands, Columbia, Slovenia, Paraguay and Cyprus, which have banned animals from circus performances.

“By banning the use of wild animals in the circus, the people of Iran are taking a united stand against cruelty to animals and it makes us wonder why the United States can’t come  along,” environmental website wrote.

According to PETA, an animal rights organization, trainers force animals to perform meaningless acts and physically uncomfortable tricks such as balancing on balls and jumping through rings of fire by using whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks, and other painful tools of the trade.