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Photo: 'Give a Hand', by gilad, used with generous permission of Gilad Benari.

I Am An Elephant poster (FOCA)

Boycott & Ban Animal Circuses

   Animal circuses are a topic very close to our hearts here at FOCA. Use a search
   engine to look up "circus cruelty" and you will see endless evidence of the
   violence inflicted on animals while they are chained or caged, and completely
   defenseless. Surely we should ask ourselves why modern, progressive
   societies tolerate this violence against defenseless animals?

4 Reasons to Avoid Animal Circuses

   1. Wild Animals are not suited for life in a circus.
   The tricks that animals are forced to perform are frightening, unnatural, and even
   painful. The industry claims that it only trains animals to do the types of tricks they
   might naturally perform in their native habitat, but elephants in the wild don't eagerly
   stand on their heads and tigers don't naturally jump through hoops. Additionally,
   animals in circuses spend about 11 months of the year traveling. For thousands of
   hours, over long distances, they may be chained while not performing, transported in
   vehicles that lack climate control, and forced to stand or lie in their own waste. Most
   wild animals are constantly on the move in their native habitats and make their own

   2.  Circus animals have injured and even killed during escape attempts.
   Animals in circuses are forced into lives far different from the ones nature intended.
   The conflict between their instincts and the harshness of captivity (including training
   methods utilizing violence, fear, and intimidation, cause animals tremendous amounts
   of stress. This drives the animals mad, resulting in rampages that injure and kill people.
   Animals in circuses have escaped from their enclosures and freely roamed outside the
   property from where they are performing. In addition to causing major property damage,
   they can place local residents at risk from potential injury. Elephants in the circus may
   carry tuberculosis (TB), and can infect humans with the bacterial disease. Public
   records show that many circuses have a history of TB in their elephants, and that many
   have used TB-positive elephants in public performances.

   3. It is a myth that circuses help save endangered species such as Elephants and

   Endangered animals born in circus "conservation" programs have never been released
   into the wild - most become "replacement" performers. Captive breeding programs do
   nothing to address the real threats endangered animals face in the wild, such as
   poaching, loss of habitat, and loss of prey. Circuses' are entertainment, not education.
   Watching wild  animals perform unnatural tricks does not teach our children respect or
   appreciation for animals, nor does it help animals in the wild. Circuses teach children
   that it's acceptable to  exploit and mistreat animals for amusement.

   4. Use of the Bull Hook (Ankus) to Control Elephants In Circuses.
   Former circus employees have reported that the bull hook is not used to ‘guide’
   elephants, as circus spokespersons claim, but is used to cause pain, and to instill
   fear - the sharp metal prong is used to actually pierce the skin on sensitive areas,
   such as behind the ear, or it is used to beat the elephants on parts of the body where
   there is little cushioning over the bone. Is an hour or two of entertainment worth
   allowing animals to have metal prongs puncture sensitive areas of their body to cause
   pain and fear?

   It is important that we do not give up! FOCA is committed to letting people know why
   they should never support a circus that uses animals. Learn more about circus
   cruelty here.


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