Westchester 4 GeesePress Releases
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.

Activists to meet with Deputy Exec. Jenkins as Westchester circus lies continue


Date January 11, 2019

Kiley Blackman
[email protected]

For FIFTEEN YEARS Westchester avoids circus ban while surrounding venues take humane action

Westchester County, NY January 11, 2019 Members of Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW) will meet with Westchester Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins at 9 a.m., January 11, 2019 at 148 Martine Ave, to discuss Westchester's continued neglect of any work toward banning animal-user circuses for the last fifteen years, despite claiming they would after after a multitude of pleas from the humane community.

In 2004 ADOW began the first of several meetings with the Westchester Board of Legislators. A former circus trainer was brought in to testify about cruel training methods; and despite circus purveyor Scruffti Hanneford calling them 'ignorant,' legislators Judy Myers and Jose Alvarado stated, "Its time for a change," and vowed to ban traveling animal acts, as was done in Greenburgh, NY in 2002. This, however, never happened. In 2013 the effort to stop animal-user circuses was re initiated. Since that time a series of lies and avoidance has been the sole BOL response to evidence of animal torture, deprivation, health violations, veterinary neglect and worse.

Meanwhile other surrounding venues in NYC, Connecticut and New Jersey already passed such bans over a year ago; New Jersey just banned circuses entirely. Yet Westchester hasn't even started a draft of a bill - though they've repeatedly lied and stated they have.

Kiley Blackman, founder of ADOW, said, "For fifteen years we've begged the BOL to stop circuses. Last year we asked George Latimer to do an executive order banning circuses on county property, as he'd done for the gun shows and a slew of other orders - which we didn't know could be done; even though an executive order would only apply to county property, it would send a message to the entire county and set precedent. He refused, instead telling the BOL do it; a year later the BOL had lied as usual and done nothing. Latimer then claimed he would do the order - but subsequently gave the same barrage of excuses of 'low staff' etc - though he has enough staff for projects like removing old plaques. When we publicly called him on this, he dumped this issue back on the BOL. This is a shame and disgrace for this county: 50 miles in any direction counties are celebrating their one year circus-free anniversary - and the state of New Jersey banned them throughout the entire state. I am embarrassed for this heartless county: For fifteen years they've allowed animals to be dragged here in cages and tortured with whips, electric prods, bullhooks, starvation and beatings. Latimer could have stopped them a year ago, but refused - and he knows about circuses, he did a bill against them as a senator. We've been begging them for fifteen years to do something; instead they deliberately turned their backs on the suffering of circus animals, which is appalling and disgraceful. Every Westchester county representative should hang their head in shame."

Westchester officials turn a blind eye to this.

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