European Circus Association

3. June 2018

On the ECA’s website you can find the following commentary on animal welfare in the circus:

The European Circus Association expects its members to guarantee flawless husbandry for their charges and to observe certain standards when working with animals:

– adequate accommodation that respects the animal’s individual social behavior

– transport according to the needs of the species

–  a day a to day occupation that offers surprises, challenges and changes for the animals

– a balanced diet based on the scientific findings of nutritional physiology

– comprehensive care (e.g. clean, comb, brush, shave chiropody etc.) including veterinary care

– training and presentation only in a way corresponding to their dignity and nature

– abandonment of certain species that cannot be kept according to their specific needs” *

Elephant in Circus Trailer Photo Credit : Egon Zitter, shutter

Anybody who has seen elephants perform in a European circus, and has taken the time to look at their accommodations, will have found that these “certain standards”  cannot be met for elephants and many other species. Why are elephants still forced to perform in European circuses?

Photo Credit:

The general public in France and other European countries is responding by simply abandoning visits to circuses with wild animal acts such as elephant performances. Cities in France (including Paris) are banning wild animal acts and circuses are folding left and right.


*   For more details: European Circus Association: Animal Welfare: