June 9, 2014 3:35 pm

Mexico City bans the use of animals in circuses

In this May 28, 2013 photo, British trainer Alexander Lacey performs with his lion Masai on stage during training for the show "Dragons" by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Mexico City.

AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo

MEXICO CITY – Mexico City has become the latest place in Mexico to ban the use of animals in circuses. The city council voted overwhelmingly for the prohibition, which carries fines of $45,000 to $60,000.

The law that passed Monday does not apply to water shows with dolphins or bull fighting, nor does it prohibit the use of animals in Mexico’s traditional rodeos, known as “charreadas.”

Circuses will be given one year to change their acts.

Several states and cities in Mexico had previously approved such bans, which allow acrobats, clowns and other circus acts to continue.

Circuses argue their animals are treated humanely and say some actually enjoy performing. But animal rights activists argue the animals are often held in confined spaces with poor conditions and are forced into performing.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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