The Hanhzhou Zoo in China announced it will stop its animal performances by the end of the year, with the exception of sea lions.
The decision follows months of campaigning from animal welfare organization Animals Asia to make zoos comply with 2011 law banning animal performances.
Animals Asia research shows 47% of zoos in China, 85 out of 181 phoned, continue to exploit loopholes in the law in order to maintain the shows.
According to the organisation, animal performances at Chinese zoos can feature chimps, camels, elephants, peacocks and red pandas, but lions, macaques and moon bears are the most common performers.
Wang Hongbo, Hangzhou Zoo Deputy Director, said they were waiting for their trainers’ contracts to end at the end of 2014 to finally stop featuring animal performances. Now that the time has come, they will not renew their contracts and will follow the law.
Animals Asia’s Welfare Director Dave Neale said: “We’re delighted Hangzhou Zoo has taken the step to finally adhere to the government directive on animal performances. We’ve campaigned long and hard in the city and it’s great to see that work pay off.”
“I hope that zoo managers are seeing the changes within the general public’s attitude towards animal welfare and are finally beginning to see this type of entertainment as the public does – as out-dated.”