Top News

New P.E.I. laws force circus to cancel horse performances in Charlottetown

Circus-123RF
Circus-123RF - File photos

National animal law organization Animal Justice says that P.E.I.'s tough new anti-circus laws have stopped a circus coming to Charlottetown this week from including animal acts.

Super Circus Spectacular is scheduled to do two shows at the Eastlink Centre on Thursday. According to a Facebook event listing for the Charlottetown tour stop, "energetic animals" were set to perform.

When Charlottetown resident Hilary Wood messaged the circus to ask what animals they would bring, the circus responded that they would bring horses.

P.E.I. cracked down on circus cruelty last year when the province passed the new Animal Welfare Act. Now, no exotic animals like elephants, bears and tigers can be used. Only a small number of domestic animals like cats, dogs, horses and some birds are still permitted, subject to strict conditions.

Circuses must obtain a licence 180 days in advance of a show, obtain extensive insurance coverage as well as create and provide a detailed escape and recapture plan.

After complaints from Wood and Animal Justice, the provincial department of agriculture advised that Super Circus Spectacular does not have a circus licence and will not be allowed to engage in horse or other animal performances in Charlottetown this week.

"Forcing animals to perform for human entertainment is cruel, degrading and incredibly outdated," said Camille Labchuk, lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice. "Circuses around the world are closing down due to plummeting public interest, concerns over animal mistreatment and the risk to public safety. P.E.I. now has some of the toughest anti-circus legislation in the country and this is our first chance to see it in action."

Animal Justice will send inspectors to Super Circus Spectacular to ensure it does not attempt to include horses or other animals in its Charlottetown shows this week.

Recent Stories