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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


Dirty little secrets behind circuses...

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

(Original publication: February 22, 2006)

Bravo to the hardy animal-rights activists who braved the freezing temperatures Saturday at the Westchester County Center in an attempt to educate the circus-going public about the rampant and inherent abuse involved in the training of wild animals for human entertainment.

On the surface, the circus does indeed look like wonderful family entertainment and an innocuous way to see wild animals. But I ask you to look just below the surface and answer this one question, "How do they get wild animals to perform 'amusing' tricks?" Do people really think an animal does these things because it enjoys them? No. They are subjected to constant cruelty and deprivation to terrorize them into submission. This is the only way an elephant is going to balance on a ball! Have any circus goers seen the razor-edged bull-hooks they use on the animals? Do they see the shackles they are kept in when they are not entertaining? How about the cramped cages they are in while they are constantly trucked from one place to another?

Several elephants have been found to carry TB, which can be passed on to the children who are lining up for the rides before the circus. And we have all heard of cases of circus elephants suddenly going on the rampage and harming spectators. It is no surprise these majestic beasts snap  from time to time given the appalling lives they are forced to lead.

These are the dirty, little secrets the Hanneford and other circuses that utilize wild animals don't want you to know.

Robert T Funck, Harrison

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