Photo: Circus protest in Mexico
Hundreds of circus workers took to Mexico City’s streets to protest a law that would ban circuses from using animals at performances in the Federal District.
Circus owners and workers marched on Tuesday from the Buenavista district to the Zocalo, Mexico City’s main plaza, to demand a meeting with Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera.
The Federal District Legislative Assembly approved the Law on the Staging of Public Shows on Monday, but the mayor must still sign off on the measure before it can become law.
The assembly voted 41-0, with 11 abstentions, to approve the law, which “prohibits the use of live wild or domestic animals during the staging of circus performances.”
The law would take effect one year after its publication in the Federal District Gazette, giving circuses time to develop new acts and find homes for the animals.
The protesters said the legislation threatened the livelihoods of thousands of families and could lead to the end of traditional circuses, whose main draw is the animals.
The law prohibits circuses from presenting, selling or using live animals as lottery prizes or in games, as well as using animals “for the taking of photographs or any other related activity.”
The ban applies only to circuses and will not affect dolphin shows, theater companies, bullfights and other kinds of animal shows, Federal District lawmaker Jesus Sesma, a Mexican Green Party, or PVEM, member and one of the law’s main backers, told Efe.
Violators will be subject to seizure of their animals and fines of more than 700,000 pesos ($53,722).
Mexico City is on its way to becoming the seventh entity in the federation to ban the use of animals in circuses, joining Colima, Guerrero, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos and Queretaro states.
Similar legislation has been proposed in the states of Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tamaulipas and Quintana Roo.