Colombia’s Congress on Wednesday approved a bill that prohibits the use of animals in circuses.
The new law, once approved by President Juan Manuel Santos and the Constitutional Court, gives circuses two years to remove animals from their acts before authorities start imposing the law and fining those who fail to abide.
Following the two-year term, “the use of animals of any species in traveling circus shows, regardless of their denomination,” the law says.
However, circuses that are found to treat their animals particularly cruelly will have their stock removed immediately and will face criminal charges, House Representative Augusto Posada, proponent of the bill, told media.
Additionally, the law disallows the state to grant circus licenses to new enterprises planning to use use animals in their show.
The Andean country is the fourth country in Latin America to ban on circus animals. Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay preceded Colombia.