The ban, one clown explained, will unemploy both humans and animals. "Hundreds of families are going to be out of work" because of the new rule, Julio Cesar Ramierz lamented.
The estimated 3,000 to 3,500 animals that would be out of work because of the new legislation cannot be returned "to their natural habitat because they would die," said Armando Cedeno, the president of the national circus association.
Cedeno dismissed the old stereotype of circus trainers armed with whips to train the animals. The animals used in circus performances, Cedeno maintained, are well treated.
Under the new legislation, circuses will be given one year to phase out animals from their performances. Violators could face fines ranging from $45,000 to $60,000.