This endearing picture fails to show the widespread abuse of animals behind the scenes in Bolivian circuses.
The Bolivian government has outlawed the use of all animals, wild or domestic, in circuses. The ban was proposed after activists documented the widespread abuse of animals in circuses that operated in the country.
Bolivia has enacted what animal rights activists are calling the world’s first ban on all animals in circuses.
A handful of other countries have banned the use of wild animals in circuses, but the Bolivian ban includes domestic animals as well.
The law, which states that the use of animals in circuses “constitutes an act of cruelty”, took effect on 1 July with operators given a year to comply, according to the bill’s sponsor, Ximena Flores.
The law was proposed after an undercover investigation by the nonprofit-making London-based group Animal Defenders International (ADI) found widespread abuse in circuses operating in Bolivia.