Monday, July 26


It may be too close to call this one, but there's a move afoot to ban wild-animal acts in circuses across Belgium. Not surprisingly, the circus owners are raisin' a hoot & holler with the same appeals to "tradition" as we hear over here. The story notes that "seventy communes in Belgium have already outlawed the presence of wild animals in circuses on their territory." Not having any idea how Belgium is divided up or how many communes, which seem to be equivalent to counties, the country as a whole contains, I can only say that sounds like a good start.

UPDATE 8/4: The ban is rescinded as overreaching the authority of the animal welfare minister's office. It will be interesting to watch this develop, as "the Conseil D'Etat has organised a series of meetings with circus representatives in August and September. Witmeur said they would seek to find 'a compromise suitable for all' but that conditions for circus animals would have to improve. 'We need to make a lot of progress for their well-being,' he said." We'll have to wait and see what that means in reality...

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