The Madrid town council under Mayor Manuela Carmena, who ran on a Podemos ticket, has voted to ban circus performances that make use of wild animals. The measure was backed by a broad majority of the town council and by the lists of the mayor, Ahora Madrid, Socialists and Ciudadanos for the ”defense of the historic rights of animals”.
The town council of the Spanish capital received a mandate to adopt a binding ordinance from 2001 regulations aiming to ”defend animals from many hours of suffering” and the stress that they are subjected to during training and performances. Other cities led by mayors from Podemos, such as Barcelona and Cadiz, have adopted similar measures. The move has sparked protest from the Partido Popular (PP) under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the main party in the town council opposition in Madrid. The association of Madrid circus workers, which represents 2,000 people, has announced that it will make an appeal, saying that weekly police checks already ensure that no mistreatment occurs. The association has said that it will report the town council for ”abuse of power”.
”The animals are born in captivity and have large, fenced-in area to run around,” said elephant trainer Joy Gardner, heir to five generations of circus performers. In recent days the workers of the Gottani circus, which performs in the suburb of Vallecas, have reported to the police numerous insults and threats from animal rights activists.
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