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Time to bring down the curtain on animal shows

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-29 08:30

ON NOV 22, a senior citizen in Nanyang, Henan province, was bitten by a tiger shut in the cage of a circus while trying to feed it. On Saturday, another tiger wounded two children in Hongdong county, Shanxi province. comments:

Fortunately, the three concerned were only lightly injured. Yet the two cases show that circus animals are not to be considered pets.

Tigers and lions are dangerous animals. Some argue that circuses train them, but they still retain their natural instincts. Besides, many circuses beat the animals while training them, this makes them even more aggressive.

Circuses are a kind of past amusement and have increasingly lost their appeal and legitimacy. This September, Guangzhou Zoo officially closed its animal performance hall, which had been staging shows for 24 years. And the Fourth International Circus Festival of China, which concluded in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, on Saturday, had stopped its animal performances. Yet it attracted larger audiences than ever for its acrobatic shows.

It is an increasing consensus of society that getting animals to perform tricks for our amusement is cruel and risky, and such shows must come to an end.

Of course, the existing circuses could continue owning their animals with legal registration. However, they must meet public safety standards in order to keep the animals, and these animals should no longer be exploited for profit.

Circuses and zoos must put an end to their animal performances and become places of education and knowledge.

The two recent incidents are not the animals' fault, but the fault of the people who thought they could change the natural behavior of animals. It is time to give up that illusion.

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