Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


...Convincing evidence of abuse

Published in THE JOURNAL NEWS, 2/22/06 :

(Original publication: February 22, 2006)

Animal Defenders of Westchester wishes to thank The Journal News and News 12 for their coverage of our protest against the Hanneford Circus on Feb. 18. I would like to add a few comments to your coverage.

New York Times editor Bob Harris declared, "I'm not convinced the animals are abused." Perhaps this will convince him: Reporter Robert Masterson traveled undercover with the Hanneford Circus in 2001; I quote his Westchester Weekly article, "For the animals, circus life is no picnic," March 2001: "I can't say the elephants appeared to be happy animals. Two of the three were over 60 years old, and while on the road or not actually performing, all the elephants and horses spent their time in travel trailers. The elephants were chained, front and back, when they were not performing." And, indeed, Hanneford consistently denies access to News 12 cameras for filming the elephants and tigers - why?  Ask yourself, Mr. Harris, what don't they want the public to see?

Maybe the almost 20 Hanneford citations given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture which has minimal standards of care for the animals will convince him: for such things as failure to provide veterinary care, failure to provide adequate space for the elephants and the dogs, and chains too short for elephants to even move their feet? Mrs. Hanneford states the circus "has always complied with USDA guidelines" Hanneford complies because it has been forced to.

These are living beings that Mr. Harris would gladly consign to loneliness, chains and deprivation, just so he can have an hour of supposed fun. Think where these vulnerable, faceless animals came from before the performance and where they are going when they leave. "Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight" Albert Einstein.

Kiley Blackman, Yonkers
The writer is spokesperson
Animal Defenders of Westchester

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