Friday, December 08, 2006

Citizens in Virginia Brave Horrible Weather to Bring Out the Truth about the Cruelty about Ringling Brothers. And Barnum & Bailey Circus

For more information about the cruelty behind Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus including video proof see

They can talk all they want, but you can’t deny video proof. That speaks louder than any words. It’s undeniable.


Animal rights group stages protest of circus at arena

By John Yellig
December 8, 2006

Braving plummeting temperatures and bustling winds Thursday evening, about 40 protesters stood across from the John Paul Jones Arena, where the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was performing, and waved signs declaring "Saddest Show on Earth" and "No More Ringling Animal Deaths."

"It's worth it," protester Tessy Schlemmer of Charlottesville said. "We want to speak for the animals if at all possible."

According to Marianne Roberts, past president of the local group Voices for Animals, which organized the protest, animals that perform for even the best-financed circuses, such as Ringling Bros., suffer discomfort, mistreatment and sometimes pain.

"Even Ringling cannot deny that its animals are deprived of their basic needs to exercise, roam - for some species more than 50 miles a day - socialize, forage and play," Roberts said. "You would never treat your dogs or cats the way these circus animals are treated. You can imagine how much more frightened and confused the wild animals are when they are deprived of their physical and social needs."

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is suing Ringling Bros. over the circus's treatment of elephants, trainers often beat the animals with sharp bullhooks and elephants are routinely kept in chains up to 23 hours per day.

The Ringling Bros. Web site disputes the use of bullhooks.

"Our training methods are based on reinforcement in the form of food rewards and words of praise," the Web site states. "Verbal or physical abuse and the withholding of food or water are strictly prohibited."

Ringling's animals are allowed to roam free from shackles for much of the day, said Angelina Quevedo, general manager of the Ringling Bros. one-ring circus that is in town through Saturday.

She said the only elephants that need to roam great distances are wild ones in search of food. Ringling elephants are fed quality food regularly and therefore don't need to roam, she said.

She added that Ringling established its Center for Elephant Conservation in Central Florida in 1995 to study, breed and preserve the endangered Asian elephant, which is used by the circus.

Roberts said parents should consider taking their children to performances that don't use animals for entertainment.

"There are so many choices in family entertainment, including non-animal-based circuses like Cirque du Soleil," Roberts said.

Voices for Animals will present the University of Virginia administration with a petition urging them not to book animal-based programs in the future, Roberts said.

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