Animal Circuses – It’s time to go! (Written appx. 1997/8)

No doubt you will all have seen the circus posters which now adorn our Borough and you are probably considering taking your children to see the funny clowns and happy animals.

Before you get your cash card out to witness this spectacular event could I ask you to consider three things; 1) Where those animals have been 2) What they have experienced in their short lives and 3) Where they will end up?

A circus animal is either, stolen from the wild, in-bred amongst a very small gene pool of circus animals or bought and sold by the circus fraternity. The training period of these sad animals is one relentless and barbaric journey through a nightmare of violence and fear. They experience the pain of iron bars, screaming, beatings, whippings, and the latest craze to hit the circus trainers. Blow torches!

Their travelling lives are one continuous, cramped and cold journey in small cages or trucks. They never get the kind of open space that a wild animal would get and they never enjoy the normal lives of even our most neglected domestic animals. Finally, once their usefulness is done, they are sold on to a zoo or run down circus, often in some country whose animal rights laws are considerably less stringent than ours, or in many cases they are simply put down. Killed in other words! There is no happy life in the sunset for these animals and there is no respite from the suffering they endure. The good news is that the numbers of circuses using and abusing animals are falling. There is also a new set of regulations coming down from Government concerning the treatment of performing animals. (I have just discovered that it is excluding Circus Animals in its proposals). But the bottom line is that we should not be financing the circus by turning up on their doorstep with a pocket full of money expecting a good time. Gone are the days when we saw dancing bears, dog fighting and the badger baiting as a form of entertainment.

The circus is not here because it is a wildlife refuge and wants you to see just how kind and generous it is towards these animals. Neither is it here because it likes the town of Bangor and wants to support our tourism trade. The circus is here to make money. Loads and loads of money and if it doesn’t make money it will go elsewhere and if it doesn’t make money elsewhere it will go bust and if it goes bust it will ditch the animals as quickly as a clown drops his trousers.

No one wants to see the circus people lose their jobs but the only way to stop these circuses using and abusing animals is to stop the flow of money from your pockets into theirs.

So I would call on all those shops that allow circus posters to adorn their walls to remove them. I would also call on all those media organisations who advertise animal circuses to stop accepting money from these people and I would call on those people who allow their land to be used for this cruel entertainment to think again about what they are doing. And finally I would call on all people to stop going to the circus.

I have confidence that in years to come we will see the permanent demise of the animal circus from our country. It will come and we will look back and say, “How could we have been so stupid and why did it take so long for us to learn?” But the cruelty will only stop when the money dries up and the money won’t stop until we all stop promoting and supporting these animal circuses!

If you care and want to know more, then log onto the Animal defenders site you can also read about the ban that I brought in that stops these circuses using Council land.


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