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Friday, September 10, 2010


Sacramento SPCA Calls For Circus Boycott

Dennis Shanahan FOX40 News September 8, 2010
SACRAMENTO: The Sacramento SPCA is adding its voice to those who oppose the use of animals in traveling circuses. Executive Director Rick Johnson is calling for a boycott of the The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, which begins a four-day run at ARCO Arena beginning Thursday night.
"The Sacramento SPCA is opposed to the use of wild animals in circuses and other shows because of the stress, cruelty and physical, social and psychological deprivations that the animals inevitably suffer," Johnson said in a statement released Wednesday. "As an organization, we feel strongly that the traveling conditions that circus animals endure is inhumane, and that alone should prohibit the use of wild animals in traveling shows of any type."
But according to Janice Aria, director of animal stewardship for the circus, a great deal of time and expertise goes into selecting which elephants thrive in the circus environment, and which ones are more suited for Ringling Brothers' 200-acre center for elephant conservation in Florida. Those that do perform are given a lot of stimulation, according to Aria. "We bring piles of sand to every venue where we play because they love to roll in it and throw it all over themselves. There are logs and tires, and there actually are commercial elephant toys," she told FOX40.
Whether or not people choose to attend the circus, they can rest assured that the animal care is being scrutinized by local animal care specialists. The City of Sacramento passed an ordinance in July giving the city's animal care services department the authority to inspect any traveling animal exhibition. Inspectors will be checking up on the circus every day while it's in town.
One of those inspectors, Penny Cistaro, assured FOX40 that the circus is cooperating fully. "They have given us answers, shown us anything that we ask to see, and it's been an easy process," she said. Copyright © 2010, KTXL-TV

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