The message was written on 26 boxes: No wild animals in the circus. This is the demand made in Berne today, initiated by ProTier, the Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (TIR), and FOUR PAWS and signed by 70,676 individuals. The petition calls on the Federal Council to ban wild animals from circuses and variety shows, an action long overdue and based on scientifically justified concerns.
The Swiss Animal Welfare Act is often considered exemplary by international standards. The fact is though that 26 European countries have already imposed severe restrictions or bans on circuses carrying wild animals or animals in general. In Switzerland, on the other hand, there is a special regulation which actually makes it easier for circuses to keep wild animals in smaller spaces than in zoos. And this despite the fact that there is no difference whatsoever between the needs of animals kept in a zoo or those kept in circuses.
A circus environment cannot satisfy the needs of wild animals in any way. Besides the size of the enclosures, serious concerns exist about the constant change of location, the proximity to humans, and the whereabouts of the animals before and after touring.