The Federal District Legislative Assembly has approved the Law on the Staging of Public Shows, a measure that would ban circuses from using elephants, lions, camels, bears, tigers and other animals at performances in Mexico City.
The assembly voted 41-0, with 11 abstentions, on Monday to approve the law, which “prohibits the use of live wild or domestic animals during the staging of circus performances.”
The law, which must still be approved by Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera, 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, the legislator said.
“An initiative already exists that seeks to prohibit” bullfighting in Mexico City, Sesma said.
“We have been working to make it happen (the ban on bullfights), but you have to keep in mind that you have to go step by step and this circus law is progress,” Sesma said.
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.