Photo: Kate del Castillo
Actress Kate del Castillo is calling on Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera to sign legislation passed by the Federal District Legislative Assembly that would ban the use of animals in circuses.
“As an artist who will always consider Mexico City her home, I felt very proud to learn that Legislative Assembly members voted unanimously to prohibit the use of animals by circuses,” the actress said in a letter to Mancera.
The assembly voted 41-0, with 11 abstentions, on June 9 to approve the Law on the Staging of Public Shows, which “prohibits the use of live wild or domestic animals during the staging of circus performances.”
“I am writing to urge you to protect the animals and the public via the approval of this bill,” Del Castillo, who is known for her role in the telenovela “La Reina del Sur,” said.
The actress is backing the efforts of Peta Latino, one of the groups that lobbied for the legislation, to ban the use of animals in circuses on the grounds that elephants, lions, camels, bears, tigers and other animals are abused by trainers.
There is sufficient evidence that animals are often “beaten to force them to perform painful tricks” in circus acts, Del Castillo said.
“Please do the right thing and turn this bill into a law,” the actress said.
Del Castillo’s letter was accompanied by a video in which she spoke about the abuse suffered by some animals.
The legislation 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.
Some circus owners may put their animals up for adoption, Federal District lawmaker Jesus Sesma, a Mexican Green Party, or PVEM, member and one of the law’s main backers, told Efe.
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.
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.