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Circus Cruelty

Why Care About Animals

Needs of Captive Animals

Lucy the Elephant

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Photo: 'Give a Hand', by gilad, used with generous permission of Gilad Benari. See more photos by Giladat: http://gilad.deviantart.com/gallery/

Our Mission
To advocate for animals who endure captivity for the purpose of entertainment.

Our Vision
Animals deserve more than mere existence. Children deserve to live in communities free of animal suffering.


Our Position
Most zoos fail to satisfy the full range of biological, behavioural and social needs of the wild animals they keep, resulting in poor animal welfare and, in many cases, chronic suffering.

It must be recognized that 'Captivity itself is a great hardship'. 

Animals need complex and interesting environments to express a full range of normal movements and behaviours. Most zoo cages and enclosures confine animals in spaces that are substantially smaller than the home ranges of their wild counterparts. These pens and cages often lack the complex and natural features that life in the wild would provide. Living in sterile and uninteresting cages and enclosures contributes to boredom which causes significant stress for captive animals.

Education: There is little evidence that viewing animals in cages has the positive educational benefit that zoos claim. People can learn far more about animals by viewing films that use non-invasive methods to record animals in their natural habitats. By viewing animals in cages and zoo enclosures, children seem to be given the negative idea that living beings are objects that exist for their amusement.

For these reasons, FOCA-Friends of Captive Animals believes:

When wild animals are kept in captivity, satisfying their biological, behavioural and social needs must be the highest priority, not the convenience of zoo staff or the viewing public.

The breeding of wild animals to live in captivity should end.

New zoological facilities should not be opened, and entertainment-based, menagerie-style zoos should be phased out as soon as possible. (‘Menagerie-style zoos’ refers to the standard type of cages and pens that are designed to simply confine animals in sterile environments, and provide easy viewing for zoo visitors.)

It is time to rethink, transform, and in some cases, phase out the out-dated zoo industry.


Circus life is a great misery for animals, domestic or wild.

No animal should be forced to endure a circus life.

Circus ‘tricks’ are frequently unnatural acts that force the animal to perform actions that are frightening, painful and violate their natural instincts.

Training methods often inflict pain and fear to force circus animals to perform these difficult and unnatural acts.

Circus animals spend extensive time chained or confined in cages while being transported in trains or trucks. Even domestic animals like horses and dogs are often tethered and confined for long periods, which causes them to suffer greatly.

Children who are brought to the circus are unaware of the lifetime of suffering these living creatures endure to produce an hour or two of entertainment. The children see only an unreal and distorted picture of these animals’ lives.

We believe that it is morally wrong to mislead children about the suffering of these animals, and that it is against the best interests of children to be encouraged  to view animals as mere objects for their entertainment.

From Circus to Sanctuary:

Animal circuses must come to an end as soon as possible.

All levels of government should ban the use of animals in circuses.

The animals now owned by circus corporations must be retired to good quality sanctuaries, and not be sold to other forms of entertainment or exploitation.


Private Ownership of Wild Animals

There is no way to provide a high quality of life to wild animals kept as ‘pets’ or in private collections.

Wild animals, even if born in captivity, are still genetically wild with needs that can only be met in a natural existence and habitat.

We support the banning of private ownership of all wild animals.



Animals deserve more than mere existence.
Children deserve to live in communities free of animal suffering.

Photo:  "Tenderness in his eyes", used with generous permission by dennis73  - See more dennis73 at: www.deviantart.com

If you care for animals, please speak for them.

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