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How to Protect Performing Animals

Submitted by on Saturday, 27 March 2010No Comment

elephantFrom Building an Ark: 101 Solutions to Animal Suffering, by Ethan Smith with Guy Dauncey (New Society Publishers, 2007).

All around the world, people are beginning to look beneath the surface of the circuses, rodeos, aquariums and zoos where animals are forced into captivity for entertainment.

Many rodeo events, such as calf roping, for example, cause intolerable suffering, injury and death to animals. At the world’s most famous rodeo–the Calgary Stampede–more than 50 animals died between 1986 and 2006 from injuries sustained during the event.

Jean-Michale Cousteau is quoted as saying that “Aquariums, particularly marine mammal circus acts, are bound to disappear as the public is educated and revolts against it.”

Here are some inspiring success stories:
* In 2002 Maui County council passed a bill banning the captivity of cetaceans. Maui is world famous for its wild whales and dolphins, a reputation that will continue, thanks to the timely legislation being introduced before the construction of a new resort and aquarium in Maui.

* In Santa Ana, California, city council has officially banned wild and exotic animal performances. In 2004, by unanimous vote, the mayor and council agreed that animal circuses are inhumane and pose a risk to botht he animals and the general public.

building-an-ark* Circus shows that use animals are no longer welcome in Israel’s busiest urban center. Israel had a previous law banning wild animal acts and now protects all animal species from being used for human entertainment in the city.

* Burlington, Vermont, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Windsor, Ontario, Rio de Janiero, Brazil, Kamloops, BC, and Redmond, Washington, have all followed suit.

* In 2004, the city of Barcelona, Spain, banned bullfighting.

* In 1997 the city of Vancouver, BC, let their citizens have the final say on teh fate of a public zoo by holding a referendum. Fifty-four percent voted to close the zoo.

Consider the Alternatives
Still want a circus to come to town? There are plenty of highly entertaining circuses that don’t use animals that are just as exciting and a lot more humane. Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil is one of the best-known circuses in the world, wowing international audiences with the spectacular productions. There’s also California’s Earth circus, Hawaii’s Hiccup Circus, Laser Vudeville in Colorado, the Mexican International Circus, Ontario’s Little Russian Circus, NO Fit State Circus in Wales, Circus Oz in Australia and Cirque Plume in France.

Resources to Help and Inspire
* Animal-Free Circuses: www.circuses.com/pdfs/AnimalFreeCircuses.pdf
* Born Free Foundation: www.bornfree.org.uk
* Captive Animal Protection Society: www.captiveanimals.org
* Cities with legislation prohibiting animal performances:
* Dawnwatch: www.dawnwatch.com/entertainment.htm
* Performing Animal Welfare Scoeity: www.pawsweb.org

From Building an Ark: 101 Solutions to Animal Suffering, by Ethan Smith with Guy Dauncey (New Society Publishers, 2007).

By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).


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