Latimer, ban circuses, keep your word
From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

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

Latimer, ban circuses, keep your word

Letter as published on
January 17, 2019

Editor: Thank you to Westchester Rising for your excellent coverage of the current lack of legislation regarding traveling animal acts in Westchester while all around us they’ve been banned. (“The Show must go on? Circus continues at County Center,” Jan. 11, 2019.) We’d just like to make one minor but important correction:

The article states: “ADOW did not make any attempts to get former County Executive Rob Astorino to issue the executive order because, as one animal rights supporter told us, ‘Look, if Astorino was allowing gun shows at the County Center, we didn’t think he would ban the circus.’”

We don’t know what other animal advocates were doing; but the fact is ADOW never asked Rob Astorino to do an executive order because we did not know about them. These orders caught our attention when current CE George Latimer began issuing them as soon as he took office. Had we known about them, we most definitely would have asked Astorino. We had an excellent working relationship with his administration and with CE Andrew Spano’s administration before him – and there is never a reason to not ask, ever. ‘Not asking’ is frankly the dumbest thing we can imagine. You get nowhere in this life without asking; and for animal advocacy – and for any movement toward equality, liberation, dignity, reform etc. – it’s an iron-clad must.

It is shameful that New York City, two cities in Connecticut and the entire state of New Jersey have banned this antiquated cruelty, while Westchester welcomes it in. We asked County Executive Latimer to do an executive order banning circuses on county property a year ago; in October he agreed and requested a list of animal-free circuses, which we provided. Now he says he won’t. The BOL has turned their backs on circus animal suffering; we ask Latimer again to keep his word and sign this order.

Kiley Blackman
Animal Defenders of Westchester

Return to Letters
Read more at Stop Traveling Animal Acts