Target: Global Action in the Interest of Animals (GAIA)
Goal: Commend GAIA for its success in ending the use of wild animals in circus acts
For ten years, the Belgium animal advocacy group Global Action in the Interest of Animals (GAIA) has been working towards a ban on wild animals in circuses and, recently, the group introduced and gained approval for a bill that does just that.
GAIA began a series of investigations on circuses in 1995, and their findings led them to work towards a ban on wild animals in circuses. In 2003, the organization first publicized the poor conditions that circus animals endured. Constant traveling, extreme temperatures, and confined living spaces caused immense stress for the animals. The animals are deprived of anything natural and, instead, are forced into strict and potentially brutal training for the sake of entertainment. Often the animals would exhibit unusual behaviors, signaling mental distress.
In 2012, the Belgian government set the same standards for circus animals that already exist for zoo animals. However, these standards were often not met; thus, GAIA continued to call for a national ban, because it was clear that the welfare of the animals could not and would not be guaranteed under existing laws.
With dedication and greater public exposure to this issue, GAIA’s ten-year effort succeeded this year. The Belgian government has passed a new bill that will ban the use of wild animals in circuses. Now, animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, camels, hippos, monkeys, zebras, bears, and giraffes will no longer be allowed to live the unnatural and degrading circus life in Belgium.
Please sign this petition commending GAIA for their perseverance and commitment to their cause.
Dear Global Action in the Interest of Animals,
I want to thank you for your dedicated efforts to ban the use of wild animals in Belgian circuses, and I congratulate you on your success. Your organization’s success has set an example for other countries and is an important achievement in the effort to secure global animal rights.
In addition, your cause has changed the way many people think about the use of animals in entertainment. It is the exposure of issues like this one, and subsequent changes in widely held perspectives, that make all the difference in the way animals will be treated in the future. Animals should be respected and should live in humane conditions, and I thank your organization for recognizing that and putting so much work into making sure animals are treated the way they deserve to be.
I applaud you for your ten-year commitment and your resulting success.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Usien, via Wikimedia.