Mexico has taken great steps towards becoming a more humane place for animals! Last week, Mexico’s Senate passed legislation that bans the use of wild animals, such as primates, elephants and big cats, in circuses and traveling shows. This law, which was passed with a 93-1 vote, states that due to their large size, many animals used in circuses need special care. When placed into small areas of confinement, such as those used when the show is traveling, the health and happiness of these animals is severely jeopardized. This ban also prohibits traveling shows from using any marine mammals (woo!). And the fine for breaking this law is no joke … they can be up to $220,000 for violators.

This ban has come as a result of unfortunate findings in Mexico during 2014. Around 96 checks of circuses and shows were conducted in 2014 and 54 “irregularities” were documented. An astounding 117 animals were confiscated from their caretakers for either cruel treatment or uncertain origin.

These changes are being applied to Mexico’s General Law on Wildlife, and the General Law on Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection. Mexico has also taken other measures to end animal cruelty in the country over the past couple of decades. The Wildlife Without Borders – Mexico program, for example partners with universities to help fund projects that protect and preserve endangered species. Programs like this help to combat problems such as the illegal wildlife trade and logging. Mexico is home to over one-tenth of the world’s documented species of animals, and between the U.S. and Mexico, 450 animals are on the International Trade in Endangered Species list.

We applaud Mexico and the Mexican Government for taking a stand against animal cruelty and making large steps in an effort to help save and preserve Mexico’s beautiful wildlife. They join several other countries who have also banned the use of wild animals in circuses. Maybe soon the U.S. will finally follow suit.

Image source: Sashenka Gutierrez/EuropeanPressphotoAgency