Essay On Animal Cruelty In Circuses

Abuse Of Animals In The Circus

Abuse of Animals in the Circus
Since the beginning of the modern day circus in the early 20th century millions of Americans have enjoyed the performances by both the people and the animals that perform for our entertainment. However, the audience is blinded by shock and awe of the show from what really happens behind the curtain. Animal cruelty, poor living conditions, and lack of legal regulation scars the animals and becomes very dangerous to the overall health of the animals and those who are around them. The mistreatment of animals in circuses has been occurring for far too long, and new laws need to be implemented in an effort to prevent future acts of cruelty toward these animals.
“Virtually 96 percent of their lives are spent in chains or cages,” and “11 months a year they travel over long distances in box cars with no climate control; sleeping, eating, and defecating in the same cage,” as stated by PAWS, Protective Animal Welfare Society, is one of the many organizations that strives to protect animals right and sheds light on this horrific situation that should be stopped at once. This is an insight of what the animals have to endure just for our entertainment. PAWS also discuses when these animals are eventually allowed out of their cages they undergo “extreme ‘discipline’ such as whipping, hitting, poking, and shocking with electrical prods,” for training purposes to ensure that the performance goes without any complications. The transportation of theses animals is cruel and unusual no matter how it is looked at.
The traveling circus changed over the course the years with modern technology making it easier to move theses animals more efficiently, however the conditions of what the majestic animals must go through has not improved. The main problem with transportation is the toll it has on the animals’ health. For instance, according to PAWS elephants are known to carry TB, tuberculosis, which is easily spread to other animals and people who are around the animals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, describes TB as a bacterium disease called Mycobacteriym tuberculosis. CDC also says; The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.” This is just one case of why laws need to be passed to stop this kind of abuse that circuses keep getting away with. According to animalequality.net the elephants aren’t the only ones who are affected by improper transportation, “Circus tigers have shown a wide range of abnormal behaviours (coping strategies), whilst travelling, including stereotypic behaviours such as pacing, which increased as transport duration increased.” This leads to the tigers becoming uneasy, changes in their temper, and poses problems for the trainers getting the animals perform without any conflicts. These are wild animals, circuses claim to only use tamed animals, but since these...

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Circuses

Elephants, tigers, and other animals that circuses use to entertain audiences do not stand on their heads, jump through hoops, or balance on pedestals because they want to. They perform these and other difficult tricks because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t.

To force animals to perform, circus trainers abuse them with whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks (heavy batons with a sharp steel hook on one end), and other painful tools of the circus trade. Video footage of animal training sessions shows that elephants are beaten with bullhooks and shocked with electric prods. Circuses easily get away with such routine cruelty because the government doesn’t monitor training sessions and handlers are cautious when they’re in public.

Constant Confinement

Circuses travel nearly year-round, in all weather extremes, sometimes for days at a time. While in transit, the animals are confined to boxcars, trailers, or trucks, where they may not have access to basic necessities, such as food, water, and veterinary care. Elephants are chained, and big cats are imprisoned in cramped, filthy cages, in which they eat, drink, sleep, defecate, and urinate—all in the same place. And there’s no relief once the animals reach a venue, where they remain caged and are chained in arena basements and parking lots.

Danger to the Public

Frustrated by years of beatings, bullhooks, and shackles, some elephants snap. And when an elephant rebels, trainers can’t protect themselves—or the public.

Elephants have bolted from circuses, run amok through streets, crashed into buildings, attacked members of the public, and injured and killed handlers. The elephants have been injured, too, and some have been killed in a hail of bullets.

During a 2014 Moolah Shrine Circus show in Missouri, for example, three elephants escaped from their handlers in the children’s rides area after becoming stressed by circus noise. Loose for about 45 minutes, they damaged multiple cars in the parking lot before the handlers were able to regain control of them. It wasn’t the first time an elephant had run away from a circus. A few years earlier, an elephant named Viola had escaped from the Cole Bros. Circus in Virginia. She’d bolted from handlers and charged directly past a line of people waiting to buy tickets, sending some sprinting toward the parking lot.

Other animals, such as tigers and zebras, also try to make a break for it when they get an opportunity, running through city streets before being recaptured.

Circus Bans

Because of concerns about animal mistreatment and public safety, a growing number of communities are banning or restricting the use of animals in circuses. And cities all over the country are banning bullhooks.

Animal-Free Circuses

Public demand for cruelty-free circuses continues to grow. James Hamid Sr., a prominent producer of Shrine circuses, has said:

As we look into the future, we see all circuses moving to non-animal productions. Over the last 20 years, both through strict regulation as well as changing public sentiment, performing animal acts have begun to be a thing of the past.

There are loads of exciting and innovative productions that dazzle audiences without animal acts. Click here for a list of animal-free circuses.

What You Can Do

  • When the circus comes to town, hold a demonstration to inform the public that demeaning stunts performed by animals in the ring are the result of behind-the-scenes abuse. Let your local news outlet know about the suffering that animals used in circuses endure. For detailed information about specific circuses, including U.S. Department of Agriculture citations and dangerous incidents, click here.
  • Start a campaign to ban wild-animal acts or to amend the cruelty-to-animals ordinance in your community so that it includes language forbidding the use of bullhooks and other manual, mechanical, and chemical devices intended to cause pain and suffering.
  • Avoid all circuses that use animals. Talk to friends and family members, particularly those with young children who might be especially inclined to go.
  • For other ways that you can help, check out “Steps to Take When the Circus Comes to Town.“

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