China Bans Animal Circuses

And no more monkey meat on the human menus at zoos

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 19, 2011 1:59 AM CST

(Newser) – Monkey-fighting is off the agenda and monkey meat is off the menu at zoos and circuses in China. An animal welfare law taking effect this month bans animal performances at zoos and other attractions, and bans zoos from serving dishes made from rare animals, the Telegraph reports. Wildlife parks will no longer be allowed to sell guests live chickens to chuck at lions and tigers. The law also requires zoos to provide animals with adequate housing and keep them away from "disturbance or irritation."

Animal welfare campaigners had long complained of cruel practices at wildlife shows. "A zoo in my city had a show where they forced an adult lion to stand on the back of a horse for a sort of animal acrobatic performance,” said the chairman of an animal protection association in southern China. “I also saw one entertainment park where the monkeys seemed to have wounds all over their bodies. The manager told me the monkeys got hurt during live monkey-fighting shows." Campaigners say most zoos and circuses appear to be complying with the new law.

A tiger rides a horse in a circus show in Xiamen in southeast China's Fujian province.   (AP Photo)
A lion rides a horse in a circus show in Xiamen in southeast China's Fujian province.   (AP Photo)
A trainer tames a golden tiger cub during a circus performance at the Chongqing Safari Park.   (Getty Images)
A wolf jumps through fire hoops during for the circus at the Chongqing Safari Park.   (Getty Images)
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