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Sweden: Animal Protection Ordinance Takes Effect, Prohibiting Circus Animals

(Jan. 9, 2019) On January 1, 2019, a new Animal Welfare Protection Ordinance took effect in Sweden. ( Djurskyddsförordning Svensk författningssamling [SFS] 1988:539, as amended by SFS 2018:1204, Riksdagen (Parliament) website.) Under the new rules circuses may no longer include elephants or sea lions in their performances. (35 § 2 st Djurskyddsförordning.)
Other animals that were already previously prohibited in traveling shows include apes, rhinos, hippos, deer, giraffes, kangaroos, predator birds, ostriches, and crocodiles. ( Id. )
The changes come as part of a larger amendment of the Animal Welfare Act. (SFS 2018:1192;  see also proposition [Prop.] 2017/18:147.) The new Animal Welfare Act takes effect April 1, 2019. The Committee report on the Act had suggested including the traveling show prohibition in the Animal Protection Act instead of the Animal Welfare Ordinance. (Prop. 2017/18:147 at 142.) However, because of the detail of the prohibition, the government chose to continue to regulate the enumerated list of animals in the Ordinance. (Prop. 2017/18:147 at 142–43.)
Moreover, the Swedish government determined that the prohibition on elephants and sea lions at circuses may constitute a new requirement that must be reported to the European Commission in accordance with EU Directive 2006/123/EC on services in the internal market. (Prop. 2017/18:147 at 143; Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on Services in the Internal Market art. 15.7, 2006 O.J. (L 376) 36, EUR-Lex website.) Thus, the European Commission must examine the compatibility of the prohibition with EU law. (Directive 2006/123/EC art. 15.7.)
The Animal Protection Act includes several new provisions, including an explicit prohibition on abandoning domesticated animals, such as dogs and cats. (2 kap. 8 § Djurskyddslag; Prop. 2017/18:147 at 113.)

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