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Humane Society Director: Animals are miserable at circus


This news story was published on March 18, 2016.
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The “Big Top” is a “Big Nightmare” to performance animals in the circus

Shrine's Circus

Shrine’s Circus

Dear Editor,

A circus is coming to North Iowa in a few weeks. The Shrine Circus is a traveling show that includes acrobats, clowns, and of course, plenty of performance animals. The upcoming Shrine Circus in North Iowa specifically showcases the Tarzan Zerbini Performing Elephants as part of it traveling show.

While all of this may seem like innocent family fun, what goes on behind the scenes at a circus is hardly innocent: the needless suffering of wild animals. Often, performance animals used in circus acts are routinely beaten, poked, and shocked with electric prods, forcing them to learn routines and perform unnatural tricks for an unsuspecting viewing public. This abuse continues year after year as the show travels state to state to each new town for each new audience.

The animal’s misery also continues off the stage. Animals traveling in circuses are rarely allowed out of their small, often dirty cages, except to perform. After the show, they are typically locked up to travel to the next town. In the wild, an elephant may walk up to 20 miles a day; in the confinement of a circus, they may only walk 20 yards per day, to the performance tent and then back to their dark, dingy, cramped cage. Animals are frequently chained or shackled for long periods of time, which leads to open wounds, sores, and often infections.

Circuses are required to adhere to the animal care standards set forth through the Animal Welfare Act and enforced by the USDA for animals owned by the circus. The Shrine Circus evades this rule be “leasing” its animals through groups like Tarzan Zerbini’s Performing Elephants. Every exhibitor of Shine Circus-leased animals has failed to meet minimal federal standards under the Animal Welfare Act for the care of animals used in the circus…including Tarzan Zerbini’s Performing Elephants show.

The bottom line is circus acts that use wild animals are inhumane and unnatural. Wild animals don’t perform because they choose this way of life; they are often beaten until they comply.

You do have a choice though. When the Shrine Circus comes to Mason City, you can choose to NOT attend and send the message loud and clear that you do not find animal cruelty “entertaining.”

Sincerely,

Sybil Soukup, Executive Director
Humane Society of North Iowa

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10 Responses to Humane Society Director: Animals are miserable at circus

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    I raise cattle, they live a better life than me . Their health care is affordable .They live better than most humans. They don’t do tricks.

  2. Avatar

    Larry Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Can we have Sybil’s input on the possible slaughterhouse coming to MC?

  3. Avatar

    Larry Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Exactly why I’ve never & my kids will never go. Cruelty.

  4. Avatar

    DianeFlores Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Finally! Thank you!

  5. Avatar

    Reality Check Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2016 at 10:27 am

    In a few more years there won’t be any circus coming to town, anywhere. Its an ancient entertainment ritual that filled a vacuum for us country folk. The circus will die of natural causes and ironically the brutal treatment of the stars of the show hasten its demise.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Those Shriners are a evil bunch.

  7. Avatar

    Katie Reply Report comment

    March 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    The Shriners always try to get our business to hand out tickets for them and we refuse and tell them exactly why.

  8. Avatar

    007 Reply Report comment

    March 19, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Hey Nancy Drew dust that camera off we need your amazing drew skills.
    Get a hold of me girly! 🙂 007

  9. Avatar

    Dontbuyaticket Reply Report comment

    March 19, 2016 at 7:29 am

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 19, 2016 at 7:08 am

    https://youtu.be/3NQ9Eo_AKnQ This is what you are supporting when you attend circuses.