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In Spain and Egypt, Animal Abusers Become Victims

February 18, 2015 by Leave a Comment


News & Opinion

In the first half of February, two animals used for entertainment attacked their abusers – a bull used in Spanish bullfight and a lion used in an Egyptian circus. Given that many videos of similar attacks have gone viral, why do people still participate in bullfights, circus acts and other exploitive events? Do the thrills and profits really outweigh the grave risks? And is the public supposed to sympathize with the animal abusers when they become the victims?

BULL GORES MAN: On February 14th, a 20-year old man from Georgia was severely gored during a running of the bulls and bullfight festival in a small town near Salamanca, Spain. The 16 inch gash to his thigh was the worst the local doctor had ever seen.

American man gored during a running of the bulls event in Spain

American man gored during a running of the bulls event in Spain

During these festivals, which take place in villages across Spain, bulls run through the streets until they arrive at the local arena, where they are killed in bullfights. The fact that event organizers have medical units on hand to treat injured (human) participants should be reason alone to outlaw these medieval competitions.

LION POUNCES TRAINER: On February 6th, a lion pounced on his trainer during a circus performance in Egypt. The victims’s late husband, who was also a trainer, was killed by a lion in 2004.

How many more people have to be gored, pounced, maimed and killed by captive animals before government regulators and elected officials ban these barbaric events?

In the United States, three high profile animal attacks involving an elephant, tiger and orca have shined an international spotlight on the use of captive wild animals in entertainment.

1. In 1994, a 20 year old circus elephant named Tyke killed his trainer during a performance and injured 13 others as he bolted out of the arena and through the streets of Honolulu, Hawaii. Tyke was shot almost 100 times before dying. The tragic incident was caught on video – from start to finish.

2. Siegfried & Roy, performers who used white lions and tigers in their Las Vegas show, had the most popular act in town from 1990 to 2003, when a white tiger bit Roy on the neck, severely injuring him and permanently shutting down their show.

Siegfried & Roy (photo: Las Vegas Sun)

Siegfried & Roy (photo: Las Vegas Sun)

3. Tilikum, the world’s largest captive killer whale, has killed three people, including Dawn Brancheau, a senior trainer at SeaWorld. Blackfish, a film that documents the Brancheau attack and its aftermath, has made Tilikum an international symbol of animals held captive for entertainment.

The late Dawn Brancheau stands on Tilkum's face during a performance

The late Dawn Brancheau stands on Tilkum’s face during a performance

Your Turn

To learn more about captive animals in entertainment and find out how you can help, please visit Born Free in the U.S. or Captive Animals Protection Society in Europe.


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Oakland Weighs Ban on Bull Hooks

November 26, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

Lawmakers in Oakland, California, are considering a ban on bull hooks, a move that would prevent Ringling Bros. from bringing its circus elephants to that city. Bull hooks are weapons used to inflict pain on elephants in order to keep them submissive and obedient.

Four of eight Council Members in Oakland are poised to vote in favor of outlawing bull hooks. One member told the press, “We’re not going to look the other way when it comes to torturing animals.”

Circus elephants are tied down & assaulted with bull hooks at a young age

Circus elephants are tied down & assaulted with bull hooks at a young age

A spokesperson for Ringling, who describes bull hooks as “USDA-approved husbandry tools,” says that the circus cannot have elephants without them and will not come to Oakland at all if they cannot bring elephants, feeding into the concerns expressed by some Council Members about the economic impact of a ban.

Fear of bull hooks keeps elephants submissive (Photo: Amy Meyer)

Fear of bull hooks keeps elephants submissive (Photo: Amy Meyer)

In 2013, the Los Angeles City Council passed a law banning bull hooks that takes effect in 2017.  The lawmakers made their decision after viewing PETA’s undercover footage of Ringling trainers attacking elephants with bull hooks.

In addition to being beaten, elephants and other wild animals forced to perform in circuses, are deprived of the chance to do anything that comes naturally to them and are forced to travel in small boxcars on trains for days at a time while traveling between cities.

Ringling circus elephant in box car

Photo: PETA

The use of elephants in circuses has already been banned in Bolivia, Peru, Slovenia, Cyprus, Greece, Paraguay, Columbia, the Netherlands. A ban in the United Kingdom goes into effect in 2015.

Your Turn

If you live in Oakland or in San Francisco area, please see In Defense of Animal’s Action Center.

If you live elsewhere, please see five ways you can help end the use of animals in circuses.

Ringling Bros

Ringling Bros.


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Circus Tiger Kills Girl

November 3, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

A tiger at a Chinese amusement park dragged an eight-year-old girl into his enclosure and mauled her to death. The amusement park owners withheld the information from the press, but rumors forced them to admit that the event occurred.

Tiger show at Leheledu Amusement Park in China

Tiger show at Leheledu Amusement Park in China

The tragedy took place just one month after a tiger killed zoo visitor in India in an incident that was captured on camera. That victim was 20 years old.

Tiger at India zoo kills patron

Tiger at New Delhi Zoo kills man who fell into his enclosure

Your Turn

Both tragedies were entirely preventable, as the victims – the tigers and their human prey – should never have been in a zoo or circus in the first place.

In their natural habitat, tigers hunt for prey, raise their cubs, swim long distances, establish territories and forge relationships. In circuses and zoos, they pace back and forth, unable to perform any of the activities that make their lives worth living.  Zoos and circuses are cruel and exploitive, and they teach children that kidnapping and putting animals behind bars for entertainment are acceptable behaviors.

Please learn more about why holding wild animals captive is cruel; boycott zoos and circuses; and speak out.


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Mexico City and Six of 32 Mexican States Have Banned Wild Animals in Circuses

August 5, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

Mexico City and six of 32 Mexican states have banned wild animals in circuses. The battle between activists and Mexican circus industry has turned violent, with reports of circus security guards assaulting peaceful protesters.

 

News & Opinion

Critics of animal rights activists like to say things like, “With all of the poverty around the world, why are you wasting your time on animals?”  Among the many responses that we can give to them is: “People in Mexico, who are poor by our standards, are themselves speaking out against animal cruelty.  If they can help abused circus animals in their country, then we can help them in the U.S.”  If you live in a city that has circuses with animals, please join the efforts of local activists to educate members of the public about why they should boycott the circus. Or you can organize a demo in your area.


Filed under: Entertainment, Victories
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Mexico City Bans Animals in Circuses

June 9, 2014 by Leave a Comment


The News

The Associated Press reports that “more than 1,000 acrobats, clowns and other circus employees marched through downtown Mexico City on Tuesday to protest a new ban on animals in circuses,” claiming that banning  this “250 year old” tradition will leave many people out of work and will reduce the number of customers who attend the circus.  About 3,000 to 3,500 animals will be affected, including elephants, tigers, camels and hippos.  Domesticated animals are also banned.

Sign reads, “Mexicans want circus with animals” Source: AP

News & Opinion

Animals used in circuses, like elephants and big cats, are deprived of the chance to do anything that comes naturally to them and are often beaten into submission in order to perform.  In addition, they are confined to small boxcars on trains for days at a time when traveling between cities. Please join your local animal rights group(s) to protest the circus when it comes to your town.  To learn more about animal cruelty in circuses, please visit PETA’s circus webite, Ringling Beats Animals.  Let’s hope that the ban on wild animals in circuses will open peoples’ eyes to the cruelty of bullfighting, which is prevalent in Mexico.


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