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Denmark Releases Last Remaining Circus Elephants

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Writer Ben Dolbear Reveals what Could be the Beginning of the end of Animal Circus Culture

Photo by Sergi Ferrete

In a pioneering move towards totally outlawing the circus animal culture, the ruling Social Democrats, headed by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, paid around £1.3 million (11 million Danish krone) for the four African mammals, called Ramboline, Lara, Djunga and Jenny.

As yet, there is no confirmed home for the animals, but the government has appealed for anybody with suitable facilities to provide a ‘timely takeover and proper welfare’ for the elephants.

Until this time, Animal Protection Denmark will offer them a temporary home. The purchase comes six months after the UK government tabled a bill to criminalise travelling circuses from featuring animals, with Michael Gove saying, ‘[t]ravelling circuses are no place for wild animals in the 21st Century’.

The manager of the circus to which three of the elephants belonged, Benny Berdino, said he was happy that the animals would be given a ‘happy retirement’.

There is currently no European Union-wide law on circus animals and circus animal welfare is the individual responsibility of member states. At present, twenty-two member states have already implemented 'restrictions, a partial or a full ban’ on the use of circus animals, but are obligated to allow circus animals to be transported through their territory.

In February this year, a Parliamentary question was submitted to the European Commission on an ‘EU-wide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses for reasons of public safety and security, human and animal health’.


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