The Ministry of Culture and Sport of Spain will no longer subsidise circuses with wild animals as part of the moratorium established in 2019, where the Ministry gave three years for circuses to stop using wild animals. However, it seems that Spanish circuses using animals overseas are still eligible for their foreign tours.

Three Spanish circuses continue to use wild animals in their shows, although they have alternative non-animal programs for those municipalities and regions where the presence of wild animals is banned. InfoCircos, a non-profit that has campaigned against the use of animals in circuses, has estimated that subsidies could range between 10,000 and 40,000 euros per year per circus, although in recent years “there has been a gradual decrease in aid granted to circuses with animals, in line with the process of reconversion that the circuses themselves undertook towards shows without animals“. The organisation considers this change in subsidies as a victory. In February 2016 they delivered more than 100,000 signatures collected in a month against public subsidies for circuses with wild animals. 

Some autonomic regions of Spain have already banned wild animals in circuses, as is the case of Catalonia, which did so seven years ago, well before other countries such as England and France did it. However, despite the banning of wild animals in circuses has been replicated all over the world (Austria, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, El Salvador, England, Estonia, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, The Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, and Slovenia), the use of domestic animals in them is still allowed in most jurisdictions. Only a handful of countries have banned the use of any animal in circuses’ performances, as is the case of Bolivia which was the first that did it in 2009. 

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“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.