On Monday, Jan. 12, Guatemala City’s Mayor Alfaro Arzú announced a ban on circuses that travel with animals in a video statement also posted on Facebook. Guatemala City is the capital of the Republic of Guatemala and is the most highly populated city in Central America, according to the Huffington Post.
In very simple, heartfelt words, Mayor Alfaro Arzú made a 45-second announcement that no circus that included the use of animals in its programs would be permitted in the city. “[Circus animals] are subjected to a brutal mistreatment, and we don't want to participate in this type of behavior...I think most Guatemalans will understand," the Mayor stated.
In June 2014, Mexico City passed a similar ban on the use of exotic circus animals, followed by the enactment last month of a nationwide prohibition. Previously, Malta, Bolivia, Peru, Cyprus, Greece, Paraguay, Colombia, Slovenia and the Netherlands all have banned the practice. Additionally 46 municipalities in 21 North American states have banned them so far, the DoDo reports.
In April 2014, Congressman James Moran, Jr. of Virginia, introduced H.R. 4525, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, which would have restricted the use of animals in circuses on the federal level in the United States (Read Text »). Although assigned to two committees, the official record shows that no vote was ever taken on the bill.
Still, the actions of Guatemala City’s Mayor demonstrates that the political activism to stop the inhumane treatment of animals in circuses is being heard and heeded around the world.
Photo Credit: WikiCommons