Tag Archives: Barnum and Bailey

Worcester City Council members bombarded with pro-circus crap …

… Check out these recent letters to our city council members from people who do not understand exotic animals and are insensitive to their plight (in circuses). Stay strong, Woo councilors. Don’t let these ill-informed people sway you. They could be on Barnum and Bailey’s payroll. At best, they are totally misinformed.

NOTE: Both letter writers are from Connecticut! Not even from Massachusetts – let alone Worcester!

ICT readers, please call/email these people and EDUCATE them! Thank you!      – R. Tirella


157 Leeder Hill Drive #102
Hamden, CT  06517
Dear Honorable Members of the Worcester, MA City Council,
It has come to our attention that there are animal rights representatives asking for a “ban” on performing animals, including circus animals, in the City of Worcester.  These folks may be well meaning but they are surely mis-guided.  Who among us does not love animals?  Who among us would tolerate the abuse of any animal?  Don’t we all learn to love and appreciate animals by way of opportunities such as the circus, zoological parks, and aquariums? ALL of which the animal protestors seek to eliminate.
We the members of the Circus Fans Association of America, in Massachusetts, and nationwide, call circus our hobby.  We are often present both in the seats and backstage as well as at quarters where animals are trained.  We enjoy life long friendships with animal handlers,  vets, and the animals themselves.  You can be assured that most circus animals enjoy happy healthy lives.  Their well being is monitored  by the USDA and there are unannounced inspections. The business of performing animals in the circus is one of the most regulated in the country.
It isn’t logical thinking to conclude that an elephant, lion, or tiger must be beaten to force it to perform.  But animal activists don’t use logic.  Theirs is an emotional opinion based on utopian point of view. They believe that all animals belong in the wild.  This hand full of protestors would also prefer we all become vegan.  Their opinion they are entitled to.  But not their own set of facts.  To “ban” the circus and it’s animals would be to ignore the opinion of the majority, to include animals, including dogs and cats, in their lives.  Animal “rights” advocates don’t believe in companion animals either, but will settle, in the meantime, for the easier target that is the circus.
Nationwide, the courts and elected officials such as yourselves are discovering that animal advocates are long on allegations and short of empirical evidence.  These people seek to rush legislation to a vote in Worcester before you have a chance to seek the facts.  The fact is that most circus animals are loved and well cared for.  Those of us who observe the industry on a regular basis, with no vested interest whatsoever, know this by way of direct observation.  We wish we had the same health plan that circus animals enjoy!
While we don’t doubt there are some well meaning folks asking you to support their performing animal ban, these folks have seen one propaganda fund raising film too many.  We hope that you will not be fooled as they have been!
Be assured, we are against the abuse of animals.  We’re quite certain you are also.  There is however a very big difference between animal “rights” and animal “welfare”.  Allow the good people of Worcester to decide for themselves whether or not to attend a circus with animals!  In any event, we would be happy to help you to separate the facts from the fiction.
Very Truly Yours,
Gary C. Payne, National President Elect
Circus Fans Association of America
Chairman – CFA Animal Welfare Committee
Letter #2

Dear (city council member),
I understand that the City Council is considering proposal to ban performing exotic circus animals.
For the 3/4 of my 67 years I have enjoyed attending circuses and have always been fascinated by the animal performances and I have been especially observant to the way they are treated during performances. I have even behind the scenes and have observed and have observed their care there. In speaking with the trainers you can sense and feel their love and dedication to these animals and you can see the fascinating interaction they have with them.
Many a time I’ve been told that they consider them true members of their family. They’ll tell you too that their care is always on-going 24/7 365 days a year.
Watching these animals perform is amazing…. if one pays attention to the trainers approach, you’ll observe that they talk to the animals to instruct them; as a matter of fact, many trainers have been “miked” for some years now so you can hear exactly what the trainer is saying to the animal and you’ll observe that the voice is calm, gentle and reassuring…. not threatening or intimidating; the same type of tone you would use when instructing a child to do something. Observing the animals you usually see them going about their routine with ease in a matter of fact way…. no effort on their part but rather that it comes about naturally.
Furthermore, the circus and performing animals industry is highly regulated by the federal government with unannounced inspections and strict criteria that they must follow.
Many of these animals are facing extinction, but with the love and dedication of these trainers, generations to come will be able to observe, learn about them and admire and appreciate these unique creatures.
Please understand that I am against animal cruelty just as much as any animal lover is, but with my own observations over these many years, I feel that most performing animals are treated with loving care and respect ( and any found guilty of mistreatment should be punished to the full extent of the law), so I respectfully ask that you vote NO on the proposal to ban performing exotic circus animals.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
Jane L. Kycia
860- 296-2684

Boycott all circuses that showcase exotic animals!

By Deb Young

The circus is supposed to be fun for everyone, right?

Wrong! Have you ever thought what the circus is like for the animals who perform in it? Sadly, they are often not treated with respect or kindness.

Spending life locked alone until it’s time to rehearse or perform and traveling from town to town is not a healthy life for exotic animals like elephants, bears, and big cats who perform in circuses.

In many circuses, animals are trained through the use of intimidation and physical abuse. Former circus employees have reported seeing animals beaten, whipped, poked with sharp objects and even burned to force them to learn their routines. They are taught that if they do not obey the animal trainer, they will be abused physically.

Many circus animals are kept in small cages, away from their natural environments. Don’t you think a Bengal tiger would have more fun running through a Himalayan forest than jumping through a hoop? Animals are likely to get sick as a result of these unnatural conditions. Many even die in captivity.

Making an animal do something he wasn’t meant to do or doesn’t want to do is a form of cruelty, too. Elephants are not meant to do balancing acts, bears aren’t meant to dance, and lions are not meant to jump through flaming hoops. It is disrespectful to make animals perform tricks for human audiences.

Would you want to be forced to perform embarrassing stunts every day, then sleep alone in a small cage at night? Circus animals should not have to, either.

Here are 6 facts you may not know about the circus:

1. Less than 100 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors are assigned to monitor the 12,000 circus-related facilities in America.

2. Trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks, and other painful tools of the trade to force animals to perform.

3. Every major circus that uses animals has been cited for violating the minimal standards of care set forth in the United States Animal Welfare Act.

4. On average, circuses travel about 48 weeks per year and Circus animals spend an average of 26 hours in cages, during transport.

5. Virtually 96 percent of a circus animal’s life is spent in chains or cages.

6. Repetitive and often destructive behaviors such as obsessive swaying, bobbing, chewing, sucking, weaving, rocking, and licking are common in circus animals, and are manifestations of their extreme stress and boredom.

Because of their forced immobility, circus animals may develop arthritis or other joint problems.

Do you know that you can help make a difference in the lives of animals who are forced to perform at circuses? Here’s what you can do:

Don’t go to the circus—unless it’s one that doesn’t feature any animal performers.

Most people who attend the circus aren’t aware of the abuse that goes on behind the scenes. Spread the word by writing a letter to the editor of the local paper when the circus is in the area or call a local radio station.

Learn as much as you can about the different kinds of animals who perform in circuses. Find out where and how they live in the wild. You can also find out what conservation groups are doing to help these species in the wild. Support them and tell them how much you care about these animals.

For many people, ignorance is bliss, but as facts continue to emerge, it’s harder to turn a blind eye from the abuse your paying to witness.