Greek ministries of Agriculture and Culture are seriously considering banning circuses that feature performing animals. The issue aroused after the appearance of a cruel video on YouTube showing a trainer of a circus hitting an elephant on the head with a pole, violently and repeatedly. The trainer and the elephant belong to Circo Massimo, a Circus performing in Florina (North Greece) this month.
The video appeared on several blogs as well, bringing again into limelight the issue of use and abuse of animals in entertainment. Although the officials and spokespersons of the circus refused to comment on the incident, the Greek Minister of Agriculture said that incidents like these are out of tune with the Greek culture, therefore cannot be tolerated. He also said that a behaviour like this ‘borders on barbarity’ indicating that the use of animals in circuses is old fashioned and unacceptable.
The official answer of the Greek Government is now expected as Greece has been severely criticised in the past for inadequate measures for the protection and welfare of animals. Several activists and NGO keep fighting in Greece to ban circuses with performing animals. Although there were numerous complaints filed against the particular circus, no decisions or actions have been made so far.
The Pan Hellenic Co-ordinating Committee for Animal Welfare Associations invites all citizens of Athens, Greece to attend a demonstration which will take place on Wednesday 20 May 2009, outside the Ministry of Rural Growth and Food al Growth and Food, in support of the thousands of cases of mistreatment, poisoning and murder of animals in Greece and the animals who suffer daily, in a variety of ways, in circuses.