National Anti-vivisection Society


National Antivisection Society

Animal Group Praise Bolivian Entrepreneur for Preventing Further Animal Exploitation

Posted: 31 July 2008

Animal Defenders International are Thrilled with Decision to Prevent Wild Cats Forced to Perform in Bolivia

Cochabamba – At a press conference yesterday Bolivian entrepreneur Marco Montenegro, one of the organizers of the Fercos Brothers Show tour, announced that the renowned magic show will be prevented from using any of its wild animals as part of the performance due to a municipal ban in various cities across Bolivia.

This decision was heralded by political lobby organisation Animal Defenders International (ADI) along with many other groups who have worked together tirelessly to enforce the municipal ordinance ban on the use of animals in circuses in the cities of Cochabamba, El Alto, La Paz and Santa Cruz.

Such bans were the result of ADI’s campaign Stop Circus Suffering in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and are heralded as a great animal welfare achievement. With the announcement of the illusionist act of the Fercos Brothers Show, the organizations carried out various actions and protests to enforce the law.

ADI has sent a letter to the entrepreneur commending his adherence to Bolivian law by ensuring that the Fercos Brothers will not be allowed to display their cats, which includes lions, panthers and white and Bengal tiger.

ADI’s letter to the entrepreneur:

“I am writing to commend your decision of restricting the presentation of the Fercos Brothers Show in Bolivia, to a human only show without the use of animals.

The Honorable Councils of the cities of Cochabamba, La Paz, El Alto and Santa Cruz have approved local prohibitions, banning the establishment of circus shows or similar in their territories. The local authorities and the mayors of these cities have worked hard to enforce such prohibitions.

Although described as a magic act, ‘The Fercos Brothers Show’ is undoubtedly a circus show. It involves all of the elements of a circus show that is so damaging to the animals they use, including using wild species such as white and orange tigers, lions and panthers. Many of these species are endangered and as such protected animals under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) ratified by Bolivia on the 06/07/1979.

Like travelling circuses, these wild animals are being kept in impoverished and unnatural environments; often they will be put into tiny cages, and will be severely restrained, in order to suddenly appear on stage as if by “magic”. It is inevitable that this deprived existence results in poor animal welfare, and will cause them suffering. All of this – just for entertainment.

Animal Defenders International is an organization that has studied the use of animals in the entertainment industry all over the world. We have worked behind the scenes, and we have commissioned scientific studies of the effects of captivity on animals used in entertainment. Our research concludes that animals like tigers are naturally shy and solitary, and therefore a noisy theatre is mental torture for these animals. In order to make them do tricks that they do not want to do, such animals are punished, subdued and intimidated, as well as being coerced by withdrawal of food or water, or a mixture of these techniques. Scientific studies of such animals in captivity have shown how stress hormones are raised in these animals when they are faced with these conditions.

Furthermore, article 8 paragraph 1, numeral 6 of Law 2028 states that the Municipal Government must preserve, conserve and contribute to the protection of the environment and the natural resources, the wild fauna and domestic animals, maintain and implement the ecological equilibrium.

Therefore, your decision of limiting the show to a human only act abides to rule of law and shows a deep commitment of the entrepreneurial sector of Bolivia to the welfare of animals and to the respect and enforcement of national and international legislation. Such decision sets an example for the other countries of the region that still allows this type of show in their territory without any sort of control.

Everyone can enjoy a talented magic show, with just human performers – this creates more work for people and people can enjoy a more sophisticated human entertainment experience, more suited to modern society.

This Bolivian precedent demonstrates real promise that the use and abuse of animals in circuses in South America is close to an end. The Peruvian Congress is also considering a new animal welfare plan, which could see the beginning of a new chapter for exciting, first class humane entertainment in Latin American countries.


For more information and comment, please contact:
Juan Pablo Olmos
[email protected]
0057 317 428 4814
00571 491 1922


Other groups working on the campaign:

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