In Portugal, the parliament has introduced a ban on using wild animals in circuses. At the moment, more than 1,100 animals from around 40 species, including lions, tigers, elephants and zebras, are involved in the southern European country.
The Portuguese law, which was adopted tonight, provides for a transitional period of six years. In the meantime, circuses have to register their wild animals.
The government then arranges shelter for the animals in animal care centres at home and abroad. Circuses that donate their animals before the end of the transition period receive a premium. There is already a ban on wild animals in circuses around the world in over forty countries – more than half in Europe.