Municipalities push ban on circus animals

Aldermen and Mayors of 24 municipalities in The Netherlands have sent a letter to the State Secretary of Economic Affairs, Sharon Dijksma (PvdA) asking for urgency in the matter of banning wild animals from circuses. The letter was an initiative of alderman for animals in Rotterdam, Joost Eerdmans (Leefbaar Rotterdam), the NRC reports.

The coalition agreement already contained a point on the banning of circus animals, but the municipalities feel it is taking too long to implement. Alderman for animal welfare in Utrecht, Paulus Jansen (SP) tells Radio 1 this morning how difficult it is to keep wild animal circuses out.

It seems impractical to stipulate that circuses not using wild animals in their shows have preference. Somehow, bureaucracy seems to make it very difficult. Currently, there is a wild animal circus in Utrecht. "This causes a lot of frustration because there are people who don't want that."

The ban was never implemented even though it was a point in the coalition agreement. Jansen believes that this point was pushed down in favor of tackling bigger priorities first.

"We hope that the State Secretary takes our call seriously", Jansen says. He hopes that there will now be room to handle this issue in government. "On other areas they make haste, why not on this area?"