A majority on the Oslo City Council voted this week to refuse to lease city property to circus companies that use elephants. That will effectively halt performances including elephants in the Norwegian capital, since most circus performances are held on public land.
Norway has a variety of circus companies that travel around the country and mount shows from Sarpsborg in the south to Tromsø in the far north. Tromsø’s city council refused in April to lease property to circus companies that use any “exotic animals” in their performances.
In Oslo, the Conservatives refused to go along with the elephant ban, claiming that “legal business operations must be allowed to lease city property in a legal manner.” Øystein Sundelin of the Conservatives said only a national ban imposed by Parliament should lead to a ban in the cities.
The ban on elephants has been part of a national campaign supported by animal rights organization NOAH. Circus Arnardo has already announced plans to retire its elephants.