No circuses in Henderson County
If you believe that circuses have no place in a civilized world please sign the petition to keep them out of Henderson County, Texas! Circuses are known for their brutality and abuse in training "circus animals" that don't belong there in the first place. These wild animals are taken from their homes where they were born free and forced to learn tricks at human profit. Gun Barrel City Texas has organized this event to attract funds for a new dog park. Do you see the irony in this? The day begins with a set up which will involve non-profits looking for help and then end with a circus benefiting a dog park. A great idea (the dog park) funded by a TIME AND FACT PROVEN HORRIBLE IDEA. Please sign the petition and be the voice for these animals who can't speak for themselves!
Life under the big top is not the "wholesome, fun-loving, educational experience" the circus industry would like you to think it is. For the animals, life is a monotonous and brutal routine of boredom, stress and pain. In short, traveling animal acts perpetuate animal cruelty, inhumane care, public safety hazards and distorted images of wildlife.
Circus animals are confined virtually all of their lives in barren conditions, while forced to suffer extreme physical and psychological deprivation:Virtually 96 percent of their lives are spent in chains or cages.11 months a year they travel over long distances in box cars with no climate control; sleeping, eating, and defecating in the same cage.When allowed out, these animals are trained using extreme "discipline" such as whipping, hitting, poking, and shocking with electrical prods.Even though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets minimum standards of care, most itinerary stops are not inspected.
Wild animal acts also pose a significant threat to public health and safety:Circus elephants may carry tuberculosis (TB), and can infect humans with the bacterial disease. Public records show that many circuses have used TB-positive elephants in public performances.Circuses are not required by law to carry emergency euthanasia equipment and local law enforcement agencies may be forced to deal with a loose animal.Since the 1990s circuses have been responsible for over 100 human injuries worldwide.
Circuses such as Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus claim to actively support education and conservation of wild species. A captive life in the circus for elephants consists of shackles measuring as little as five feet in length. In the wild these elephants would have a natural territory covering up to 2,300 square miles. By spotlighting captive breeding programs in North America for animals to be used for entertainment, these circuses do nothing to raise awareness of the wild elephant's largest threat today-human encroachment into elephant territory and loss of habitat.Sending the wrong message to our children
There was a time when a circus may have represented the only exposure a child had to a wild animal. Today our children learn early in school, and through such programs as on Animal Planet and The Discovery Channel, that wild animals live complex and fascinating lives, and have natural instincts, developed over thousands of years. When kids see the negative messages circuses send, it completely contradicts these lessons.
The circus industry claims that it only trains animals to do the types of tricks they might naturally perform in the wild. In reality, animals live their lives looking for food, sleeping, or raising their babies. Costumed bears lying on their backs spinning giant balls, tigers jumping through flames, or elephants walking on their hind legs then balancing on their heads, are not natural behaviors.
When circuses portray unnatural and inaccurate images of how wild animals live and act, in such an unrealistic context, this creates a greater disconnect between people and wild animals, promoting the notion that it's acceptable, even enjoyable to exploit animals for entertainment. Circuses perpetuate an outdated attitude that wild animals are ours to use at any cost to their welfare-an attitude that PAWS, other animal protection groups, wildlife organizations and zoos work tirelessly to counteract through outreach and education.