Austria has a total ban of wild animals in circuses since 2005.
Since December 2013 wild animals in the circus are completely forbidden in Belgium. The law was challenged by its opponents in the circus world but upheld and made definitive in Court in 2015.
A full ban of wild animals in circuses is in place in Croatia since 2007.
In Cyprus it is not allowed to use wild animals in circuses.
Circuses in Bulgaria are not allowed to perform with wild animals since 2015.
In the Czech Republic the circus ban is limited to young specimens of some species.
Denmark was in 1991 one of the first countries to severely restrict the use of wild animals in circuses, but with an exception for elephants, zebras and see lions. In March 2018 a broad political agreement led to a total ban. Implementation details are still in progress.
In the United Kingdom the competence to ban wild animals in entertainment or in circuses belongs to the national governments. In December 2017 the Scottish government became the first country in the UK to ban wild animals in traveling circuses.
Since 2001, wild-born animals are forbidden in Estonian circuses. The government has committed to expanding that ban and in December 2016 the country's capital, Tallinn, formally announced that it will no longer issue new public event permits to circuses that use wild animals.
In Finland certain species are forbidden in circuses. The new Animal Law is in its final stages of preparation and a broader ban is expected to be included.
Even though France has one of the biggest presences of wild animals in circuses in all of Europe, more and more municipalities are now banning the practice (see the map here), and there is growing pressure on the national government to take actions. Many of the rescue requests that AAP receives for circus animals come from France.
There is growing concern about the use of wild animals in German circuses. Several federal states have repeatedly asked the central government to introduce a ban. Public opinion is concerned about incidents involving circus animals, such as the death of a man after being trampled by an elephant. AAP regularly receives rescue requests from German circuses and we are working together with our partner organizations to ensure that the practice ends soon.
Greece is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to the use of wild animals for entertainment purposes: it is completely banned since 2012.
Since 2007certain wild-born species are not allowed to perform in Hungary.
As of January 2018, Ireland has a ban of wild animals in circuses.
Italy has one of the biggest problems with wild animals in circuses, with an estimated 2.000 individuals being currently used in performances. In December a proposal to phase out all animal performances passed through the Senate and is awaiting development by the Government.
In June 2016 the Latvian Parliament banned the use of wild animals in public performances.
Use of wild animals for entertainment purposes in still allowed in Lithuania.
The new Animal Welfare Law, introduced in June 2018, contains a ban of the use of wild animals in circuses.
CITES-protected species are forbidden from Maltese circuses since 2002.
In 2005 the city of Winschoten became the first municipality in the country to ban circuses with wild (i.e. non-domesticated) animals, and was followed by others. In years after, especially since the publication of a report in 2009 that revealed severe animal suffering in circuses, the issue had become so controversial that a complete ban was announced in 2012 as part of the government coalition agreement. The ban came into force on September 15th 2015 and prohibits any performance with wild mammals in the country (except in licensed zoos). AAP was a proud founding member of the coalition Wilde Dieren de Tent Uit (No Wild Animals in Circuses), created to run the Dutch campaign to put an end to the use of wild animals in circuses.
Circus ban for animals born in the wild since 1997.
In Norway there is a positive list for animals in circuses since 2010.
In late 2018 Portugal announced a ban of wild animals in circuses. The prohibition will take place in 2024, giving circus operators a 6-year period to find an alternative business model. The new law also encourages rehoming of animals at qualified rescue centres or sanctuaries. AAP Primadomus is ready to help in the rescue of some of the animals and contribute to an organized phase-out.
Wild animals in circuses are forbidden in all of Serbia.
After having a ban of CITES-protected species in circuses, Slowakia introduced a ban of all wild animals in 2018.
There are no restrictions to the use of wild animals in entertainment in Romania.
Since 2013 no circus performances with wild animals are allowed in Slovenia.
Since 1994 the use of some wild species in circuses has been forbidden in Sweden. From April 2019 this ban will cover all animals, including elephants and sea lions.
Following the model of WDdTU in the Netherlands, AAP Primadomus joined the existing Spanish coalition InfoCircos, giving it new impulse, and set out to achieve outstanding and very promising results in a short period of time.
Using a multi-level approach to policy influencing, InfoCircos has added hundreds of new municipalities to the list of ‘Cities free of circuses with animals’, kick-started the process to ban circuses with wild animals in several Spanish regions and, even more notably, has collected more than 120.000 signatures asking the national government to stop the public funding of circuses with wild animals.
In 2017 the autonomous regions of Galicia, Baleares and Murcia introduced bans of wild animals in circuses, and Aragón announced that they would legislate to end the practice. The initiative is also being considered by the government of Castilla-La Mancha and awaiting formalization in Comunidad Valenciana. Cataluña already had a ban in place.
In the United Kingdom the competence to ban wild animals in entertainment or in circuses belongs to the national governments. In February 2018 the government in Westminster committed to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in England by January 2020.
In the United Kingdom the competence to ban wild animals in entertainment or in circuses belongs to the national governments. In July 2018 the Welsh government announced the introduction of a ban of wild animals in circuses on welfare grounds.