Circus performers protest in Mexico City over legislation from the local government to ban animals under the big top. Nathan Frandino reports.
As fans gather ringside in Mexico City, circus performers are showing off their horses. But this performance isn't for show. It's a protest. A new city law banning circus animals has set circus performers off. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT OF UNION FOR CIRCUS WORKERS, ARMANDO SEDENO, SAYING: "It's a direct attack against Mexican circuses. It's not in favor of the animals because it seems the only people who care about the animals are the circuses. Just last Saturday there was bullfighting in Toros Plaza and they didn't say anything." In June, Mexico City's government passed the law which imposes penalties up to $60,000 on circuses using lions, camels and horses. The city joins six other states that also ban animals in circuses. Activists have long alleged abuse of wild animals locked in cages for long periods of time. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ANIMAL ACTIVIST, ANDREA, SAYING: "The circuses give a ridiculous show. Circuses need to show that they have talent, take the animals away. They don't think of the animal, the animal can't say 'don't hit me, don't lock me up, don't torture me, don't whip me.'" The law has circuses seeking a deal with the government on new animal protection standards in the capital.