By Claudia Balthazar
The Mexican Senate recently barred the use of animals, including primates and large circus cats, in traveling shows.
New legislation prohibits the usage of large cats in circuses and marine mammals in traveling shows, EFE reports. The Senate approved a vote that introduces many changes to the General Law on Wildlife and the General Law on Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection.
The nation has worked on different projects throughout the years to combat animal cruelty and preserve the lives of many animals. The Wildlife Without Borders - Mexico program, started in 1995, partners with Mexican universities and other organizations to help fund projects for the preservation of animals and endangered species. Programs allow park rangers to face many challenges including illegal wildlife trade, logging and human settlements.
The Senate's approval of banning wild animals in shows also prohibits the use of lions and elephants. Violators can face fines between 50 and 50,000 minimum monthly salaries.
The law says that the large animals mostly used in circuses need special care and when put in conditions of confinement while traveling for these shows, their health and wellbeing is jeopardized.
At the same time, a changed law also prohibits the use of seals, dolphins, orcas and other sea animals in traveling marine shows.
Mexico is home to one-tenth of all species known to science. The U.S. and Mexico together have 450 species listed under the International Trade in Endangered Species. There are over 100 species on the Endangered Species list in the U.S.
Over the summer, the Mexican states of Colima, Guerrero, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos and Queretaro banned circus animals along with Mexico City. Other states are looking to take similar measures including the states of Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tamaulipas and Quintana Roo.
The Wildlife Without Borders - Mexico is working to train over 300 tour operators from Jalisco, Nayarit and Oaxaca on humane and responsible practices when taking care of sea animals like humpback whales and their calves.