Animal protection activists have launched a petition drive to try to persuade Lebanon's concerned authorities to put an end to the ill treatment of animals in Cirque Du Liban.
According to activists, Cirque Du Liban confines wild animals, tigers included, in pens for long hours. In a video shot by the group "Lebanon against the Use of Animals for Entertainment", two tigers can be seen pacing back and forth inside their cages.
The petition has started to gain traction, garnering at the time of writing some 2,800 signatures. Once it reaches 5,000, the petition will be sent to the Ministry of Tourism.
The conditions for animals being used as entertainment are dire, the group explains. They want to see an end to the abuse.
Circus trainers and performers claim to give the animals the best possible care, but footage shot by the activists proves otherwise.
The petition outlines 5 main abuses:
1. 96% of wild animals spend their lifespan behind bars, because of how frequently a circus travels.
2. The offspring of wild animals, be they elephant calves, lion cubs, or chimpanzee infants, are torn away from their mothers. This induces stress related illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
3. Physical punishment is ever-present when training. Animals are whipped into submission against their natural instincts. Despite proof, not enough is being done to stop the horrific ways that animals are prepped for entertainment purposes.
4. When animals do not comply, more punishment is enforced. Food and water deprivation is among the many tactics used to break their spirits.
5. Animals in captivity lead a miserable existence, and this shortens their lifespan. Those who do survive the harsh treatment develop mental disorders, and physical disabilities. Its a sad, sad reality.
Animal welfare laws are improving in the region. A new new law targeting the possession, trading and breeding of exotic pets was recently passed in the United Arab Emirates.
Lebanon must follow suit, not just by law, but with concrete action.
Animals belong in the wild, not in the circus.
To sign the petition, click here.