The institution’s administration says that they plan to appeal against the court’s decision; this has 30 days. In the meantime, no number with the participation of animals will be canceled.
The circus of Odessa was forbidden to keep and exploit wild animals.
The Odessa Regional Court made this decision. The lawsuit was initiated by animal rights activists and the environmental inspectorate. They say they went to court because wild animals in the circus are kept in inappropriate conditions. All the details further in the story of Olga Dunskaya.
In front of the district court, employees of the Odessa circus and those who came to support them. People are holding posters with a call to save the circus and save jobs. The picket participants fear that the ban on exploiting wild animals will lead to the circus’s closure.
“Under the plausible pretext of protecting the smaller brothers, our older brothers are being infringed; look how many,” said Oleg, a circus employee.
“I want a circus to work for us, our children, adults could see a show with animals,” Natalia Kurdyukova, a resident of Odessa, convinces.
But animal rights activists and the environmental inspectorate have a different opinion. They say that during an unscheduled inspection of the circus, violations in the keeping of wild animals were recorded.
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“The order is established – for an average capuchin monkey; the height should be three meters. According to the measurements that have been found, 1.75 is the height of the cage in which the capuchin monkey is placed. Only the height of the pen is two times less. The areas themselves in the total calculation are eight times less than the requirements stipulated by the procedure “, – emphasized the chief specialist of the department of legal support of the State Environmental Inspection in the Odessa region Alina Leh.
The circus administration did not eliminate the revealed violations. After that, the environmental inspectorate went to court. Animal rights activists also supported the lawsuit. They assure us: they do not intend to seek the closure of the circus, but there should be no wild animals in the institution.
“There should be no cages at all if we are talking about large predators, open-air cages, but they do not have open-air cages. The open-air cage is a fenced area of land,” explains animal rights activist Elena Marchenko.
The administration of the circus assures: the environmental inspection did not find any violations during the check. They add that the circus does not have its wild animals; all the animals that perform in the institution belong to the guest performers.
“These areas are used by trainers who bring their cages with them, as ecologists say – places where animals are kept. This is not a property that belongs to the circus. By the way, it is the owner responsible for the places where animals are kept,” said Igor Gorlachev, commercial director of the Odessa State Circus.
However, the judge has a different opinion.
“To apply measures to the state enterprise Odessa Circus in the form of a ban on the provision of services, accommodation, use, and keeping of wild animals until the violations identified in the act of checking the environmental legislation of the State Ecological Inspectorate in the Odessa region are eliminated,” said Ninel Pototskaya, a judge of the Odessa Regional Administrative Court.
According to animal rights activists, this is the first time in Ukraine when a court banned the circus from exploiting wild animals.
“This case is indicative also because the court recognized that wild animals really should not be kept in such conditions, used in performances, so this is a precedent since we received the first stationary circus in Ukraine, which officially it is forbidden to use wild animals, “said Svetlana Rudenko, a representative of the Open Cells NGO.
A new show program at the Odessa circus should begin this weekend. The administration of the institution says that they plan to appeal against the court’s decision; this has 30 days. In the meantime, no number with the participation of animals will be canceled.