MEXICO CITY — Legislators in Mexico have voted to forbid the use of jungle animals such as elephants, big cats or monkeys in circuses across the country, threatening fines equivalent to over $220,000 for offenders, Spain's EFE agency and Latin American newspapers report.
The ban, applicable nationwide, is already in force in Mexico City and certain states such as Chihuahua in northern Mexico and Quintana Roo on the Caribbean. The bill empowers the federal government to create norms on the humane treatment of animals, and it obligates circuses to provide the Environment Ministry with a list of all their wild animals "with their characteristics."
The legislation was partly driven by recognition that large animals need particular foods and care conditions. In 2013-14, government inspectors carried out 96 checks, found 54 "irregularities" in circuses, and confiscated 117 animals from their owners, either for cruel treatment or uncertain origins, EFE reports.
Photo: Graeme Churchard