No More Bears On Tightropes: China Bans Animal Circuses

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Six-year-old female chimpanzee Wan Xing rides a bicycle in Hefei, in east China's Anhui province, on September 28, 2010 (STR / AFP / Getty Images)

With good reason, China’s banning animal circuses: they’re popular at zoos, but unless you consider animals being ripped to shreds by tigers as entertainment, you may be in the wrong place.

(More on TIME.comRead about tiger abuse in China.)

Starting earlier this week, the ban encompasses 300 state-owned zoos part of the China Zoo Association. These animal circuses draw up to 150 million visitors a year. It is not uncommon to make bears walk across tightropes or to beat animals until a trick is performed.

(More on TIME.comRead about the Chinese craze for Tibetan mastiffs.)

It’s a win for animal rights activists, who have complained. The ban also forces zoos to stop common practice of selling animal parts and serving dishes made out of exotic animals in their restaurants.

There are some concerns that the ban could bankrupt some zoos, leaving the animals held in captivity at risk. But NewsFeed isn’t sure if that’s any worse than ripping a tooth from a live tiger, just so you can hold it in your hand. (via The Telegraph)