Riga Circus to phase out use of wild animals

The Rīga Circus must phase out the use of wild animals in shows for the 2017-2020 period as per a Ministry of Culture request, Dace Vizule, the spokeswoman for the ministry announced Monday.

"Due to the current troubles in the activities of the state-owned LLC Rīgas Cirks related to the technical state of the building and views expressed by the society against the use of wild animals in circus shows, the Ministry of Culture has established that a complex and sustainable solution for ensuring the future operations of the Rīga Circus is necessary," reads the announcement.

The board of the Rīga Circus has been tasked to work out a new business strategy for the 2017-2020, transitioning to a business model that does not involve the use of wild animals in performances.

The board has to submit the strategy to the Culture Ministry by November 30, 2016.

Animal rights activists have routinely staged small protests by the Rīga Circus building in Rīga. 

The Rīga Circus house on Merķeļa street was pronounced in September to be among the public-use buildings dangerous to use. 

Use of wild animals in circuses has been banned in many European countries.

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