. Earth Science News .

US circuses circle wagons against elephants law
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Nov 13, 2011

US circuses are circling the wagons against a proposed law in Congress that would ban using elephants under the big top, a tradition that animal rights activists say causes terrible suffering.

The bill, introduced this month in the House of Representatives by Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, aims directly at traveling circuses by seeking to outlaw exotic or wild animals from performances if they have been traveling within the previous 15 days.

That would mean an end to the days of elephants balancing on stools, tigers and lions jumping through fiery hoops, monkeys on wheels, or other popular staples of the ring.

"It is clear that traveling circuses cannot provide the proper living conditions for these exotic animals," Moran said in a statement.

He noted that zoos, aquariums, horse races and permanently housed animals used for shooting movies and other filming events would not fall under the ban.

The law is the first attempt for a decade to put an end to the iconic circus routines, which animal rights activists say are based on cruel training methods and harsh, unsafe living facilities.

America's most famous big top outfit, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey, sent out an email appeal to supporters this week, saying "the Greatest Show on Earth" needed help "to make sure this family tradition continues."

Stephen Payne, a spokesman, said the bill was not pro-animal, but simply against circuses.

"It's to do with putting Ringling Brothers and other circuses out of business," Payne told AFP.

"This is just anti-circus legislation that's really not necessary because we're already inspected and regulated under federal laws, state laws and local laws in almost every state we play."

Payne said animal rights groups did not understand the circus business and were out of touch with Americans.

"They are at the fringe: they don't want animals for entertaining, they don't want them for food, they don't want them for pets," he said.

"What we get are millions and millions of families coming to see Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey."

According to Ringling Brothers, their circuses not only treat elephants well, but help preserve the Asian elephant breed, thanks to a self-sustaining, 50-strong herd that has seen 23 births since 1995.

The company also funds elephant conservation programs in the United States and in countries such as Sri Lanka.

"Asian elephants have been part of Ringling Brothers for 141 years," Payne said. "P.T. Barnum once brought his elephants across the Brooklyn Bridge to convince New Yorkers it was structurally sound."

But Ed Stewart, from the Performing Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS, said Ringling's elephants are not nearly as happy as their gaudy outfits and circus tricks are meant to suggest.

"There is no state of the art keeping animals in captivity. The state of the art is Zimbabwe and India and the wild, the hills of Virginia, but not in cages," he said at a press conference after the bill was introduced.

Stewart said children should stop being shown circus animals altogether.

"Real educators have to overcome what children see in the circus. It would be better if they didn't even have an experience with an elephant or a tiger or a lion if that's the experience," he said.

Related Links
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Bigger birds are harder hit by human noise
Durham, NC (SPX) Nov 11, 2011
A growing body of evidence shows that man-made noise is bad for birds, but some species are harder hit than others - particularly bigger birds with low-frequency songs, finds a new study. "Bigger birds sing at frequencies that are more easily masked by the low frequencies typical of human noise pollution," said lead author Clinton Francis of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Du ... read more

North China gas blast kills nine

North China gas blast kills eight: state media

China sentences three to death over hotel fire

US offers disaster help to Asia-Pacific

Kindle Fire shipping to mixed reviews

Custom glass bending

Abnormal radioactivity also in Hungary, no risk seen

New metamaterial allows transmission gain while retaining negative refraction property

Climate change threatens Nile, Limpopo rivers: study

One if by Land, Two if by Sea? Climate Change "Escape Routes"

Testing of seafood imported into the US is inadequate

Australia to release water from dam on flood fears

Prof Helping To Unravel Causes Of Ice Age Extinctions

International Team to Drill Beneath Massive Antarctic Ice Shelf

Preparing for a thaw: How Arctic microbes respond to a warming world

Chinese tycoon one step closer to Icelandic land purchase

WWF sounds warning on caviar

Fast new test for terrible form of food poisoning

Researcher provides further evidence that slow eating reduces food intake

Using Biochar to Boost Soil Moisture

Flood-weary residents lash out in Bangkok

40 dead in latest Turkey quake: authorities

Flood-ravaged Thailand prays to water goddess

Rescuers hunt for survivors in fresh Turkey quake

Nobel laureate Gbowee to lead Liberian peace initiative

Sudan beefing up border air strike capacity: monitors

US condemns bombing by Sudan Armed Forces

S.Sudan accuses Khartoum of deadly air strike on camp

Live longer with fewer calories

Asian couples rush to wed on auspicious date

The selective advantage of being on the edge of a migration wave

Erasing the signs of aging in cells is now a reality


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement