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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Circus stresses positives despite complaints
From:  livingstondaily.com
Written by Amanda Whitesell, Daily Press & Argus
Aug. 13, 2013
The Kelly Miller Circus, which will present two shows today in Putnam Township, is working to promote a positive image amid allegations of animal abuse at a show last week.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has submitted a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the circus based on an eyewitness report filed with the state of Ohio, alleging a violation of the Animal Welfare Act.
“Recently, we’ve had quite a few complaints about their exhibitors,” said Delci Winders, the PETA Foundation’s director of captive-animal law enforcement.
The affidavit obtained by the Daily Press & Argus alleges that on Aug. 8, an individual saw a Carson & Barnes Circus elephant handler, who is traveling with the Kelly Miller Circus, hit the animal three times in Point Place, Ohio with a stick, which “appeared to have a sharp hook on the end” until it let out a “high-pitched sound that sounded like a scream.” The elephant had four children on its back, between the ages of 4 and 7, the report alleges.
“Usually this takes place behind the scenes, and it’s a rule — not an exception,” said Winders, who believes parents shouldn’t let their children attend the circus. “Exposing them to this teaches them a lack of empathy.”
Winders said it’s the second eyewitness complaint filed this summer regarding Kelly Miller Circus. The first report alleged that exhibitors whipped a camel, tigers and several zebras — including a baby; struck a small dog and tigers on the face; and “tethered animals so tightly that they could barely take a step,” she said.
General Manager Jim Royal, who said he “absolutely” denies the allegations, said there is no “behind the scenes” with the Kelly Miller Circus, because interactions between the animals and their handlers happen in public. The circus invites attendees to watch the big top go up at 9 a.m. today, for example, as it opens at at St. Mary Catholic Church, south of M-36 at 10601 Dexter-Pinckney Road in Putnam Township.
read more:
http://www.livingstondaily.com/article/20130813/NEWS01/308130006/Circus-stresses-positives-despite-complaints

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