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Activists from the organization Animal Defenders International (ADI) have urged Ukraine, and other countries, to stop using animals in circus shows after a lion attacked a trainer during a performance in Lugansk.

‘A severe risk to public safety’

The video of circus performer, Hamada Kouta, being bitten by a lion went viral on March 23 – causing controversy on social media.

AAP Animal Advocacy tweeted: “Circus lion launches [an] attack on his tamer in front of a terrified audience, a great many of them children. We will keep repeating it: wild animals pose a severe risk to public safety and the EU should ban them entirely. #EUCircusBan”

‘A lifetime of suffering’

President of ADI, Jan Creamer, said: “Exploited for entertainment, animals in circuses endure a lifetime of suffering and abuse.

“It’s time for countries without bans in place to step up and stop animals and people being put in harm’s way.”

ADI is also working in Guatemala to try and enforce a ban on animals being used in circuses.

It now has 21 lions and tigers being held and its temporary rescue center. Eighteen of which will be going to the new ADI Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa.

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.