This week, Malta became the latest country to pass a nationwide ban outlawing the use of animals in circuses.
The Maltese parliament voted unanimously on Wednesday to amend the Animal Welfare Act to stipulate that "it shall not be lawful for any person to use animals for performances, exhibitions, shows or for the training thereof in circuses." As the Independent reports, the amendment makes no distinction between domesticated and wild animals.
In approving the amendment, Malta joins eight other countries, including Bolivia, Greece, Peru, Cyprus, Paraguay, Colombia, Slovenia and the Netherlands, who have enacted nationwide bans on the use of animals in circuses. More than two dozen other nations have outlawed or restricted the practice regionally.
Myriam Kirmond, chairperson of the Animal Rights Group in Malta, told The Dodo by email that the victory comes after years of vigorous campaigning - an example she hopes similar organizations will follow to see that animal circuses around the world are banned.