Nearly 300 Spanish towns have now said “adios” to animal circuses, with the region of Catalonia leading the way when it comes to banning the controversial form of entertainment.
Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona are among the Catalan cities that have already banned the practice, while elsewhere in Spain, cities such as Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Cordoba and Malaga have also banned the circuses.
Mogán, in Gran Canaria, became the latest town to ban the practice when all political parties approved a motion brought by the conservative Popular Party on Friday. It brings the total number of towns that have banned animal circuses to 275, according to Infocircos, a coalition of animal rights charities including the Born Free Foundation.
But while animal rights campaigners welcome the new wave of awareness, they are keen to point out that more needs to be done to tackle the “cruel” practice.
“It is certainly a first step, but we would like it to be included in a National Animal Protection Law,” Silvia Barquero of Spanish animal rights party, Pacma, told The Local.
“Right now, councils are making a promise that can change depending on which party is ruling at the time and they are not turning this promise into laws in the municipal ordinance,” she added.
While a new wave of left-wing mayors and councils who came to power after the May 2015 local elections have included the issue in their programmes, banning animal circuses is an issue that unites all political stripes, Alberto Díez, spokesman for Infocircos told Spanish daily 20minutos.
Infocircos estimates that every year between 80 and 100 circuses that use wild animals operate in Spain, of which only ten are Spanish.
The majority of circuses come from the south of Italy and include animals such as tigers and elephants.