In recent years, after the frequent arrivals of animal circuses in Malta, local citizens along with environmental groups and animal welfare organizations started to pressure the government into banning the use of animals for entertainment purposes. A continuous uproar from numerous protests has finally been heard from the government.
As of late, a new Animal Welfare Act bill was approved unanimously by Parliament for banning the use of animals in circuses, causing an end to the controversial issue. The bill states: “It shall not be lawful for any person to use animals for performances, exhibitions, shows, or for the training thereof in circuses”. Apart from being pleased with this positive change, our organisation is delighted since no distinction was made between wild and domestic animals.
Youth for the Environment (Y4TE) believes that animals should be free to live in their own habitat away from captivity, and should not be pressured and mistreated in exchange of providing people a spectacle. This positive change will definitely instil awareness against animal cruelty in people, even though most of it happens behind closed circus curtains, hidden away from the public eye.
Although legal zoos are not considered in this bill, we believe that every zoo should always do their best in ensuring that animals have an appropriate environment which is similar to their natural habitat.
This triumph is a good example in showing people how their opinions count, and with action and determination we can truly create positive changes.