Exhibitions and performances

Thousands of animals are confined and exploited for profit, in circuses, in travelling wildlife exhibitions, in zoos and dolphinariums, deprived of freedom, unable to express their innate behaviour. Some travel hundreds of miles, locked up in cages, put on display like trophies or forced to perform for a paying audience. These extreme conditions go against their ethological needs.

The exploitation of animals for entertainment and exhibition purposes is a legacy of the past. In Italy this is governed by outdated laws which ignore the shifts in public opinion: 68.3% of the citizens are against circuses and 64.8% are against dolphinariums (source EURISPES 2015).

We work every day to support the liberation of the animals held captive in such structures, to prepare a plan for the phasing out of exhibitions and performances, and to place the animals in rescue centres in Italy and abroad.

Over the years, we have supported numerous proposals to amend the law on circus of 1968, urging the conversion of circuses into shows without animal performances. In 2014 we launched a campaign to demand the abolishment of all public funding to circuses with performing animals and redirect those resources to support rescue centres which would host the animals freed from the circuses. LAV has bought 23 hectares of land to extend an existing Rescue Centre for Exotic Animals in Tuscany and, with the cooperation of international partners, transform it into a flagship facility at European level for hosting animals with a history of abuse and exploitation.

Our investigations inside Italian dolphinariums have shed light on the tragic situation of these water jails, in some cases causing these facilities to shut down. Based on global estimates, for every animal performing in a dolphinarium, 9 others have died during capture and transportation.

A chain of violence perpetrated for sales purposes may be hiding behind any exotic animal performing in a show or bought as a pet. The only way to quash the legal and illegal trade of exotic animals, and their exploitation, is to prohibit exhibitions and performances.

Change is possible, let's work together to end animal slavery.
Because only nature is #LAVeralibertà.

We also fight against the use of animals in local food festivals and other traditional events, some of which are particularly cruel —guilty of passing on a harmful message condoning the oppression of the weakest— and to prohibit the exploitation of animals on TV, where their dignity and their very life are jeopardized.