Using animal performers in circuses can be a naive and unnatural practice that’s dangerous to the animals and the general public. Contrary to the human performers that opt to be part of circuses, exotic animals are forced to participate in the spectacle. They’re involuntary performers in an unnatural, degrading spectacle. Although many believe the Circus is “safe, wholesome, family fun,” reality is much darker. Government inspection reports expose an ongoing problem with treating animals in circuses and the inability to meet the minimum standards of care stipulated by the law. The animals used in circuses have been killed or injured and killed injured human beings. Wild animals are aplenty being kept in circuses throughout the United States. In the world, there are a lot of them.
What’s wrong with the Circus?
Cruel “training” techniques
In circuses, animals are required to perform terrifying or even painful tricks day after day. The circus representatives frequently claim they are the only place where “positive reinforcement” is used when handling animals. That could be the public’s interaction in the ring and on controlled public tours. However, it is common practice to use bullhooks, a steel rod that resembles an abrasive fireplace poker that can be used to prod or hook elephants to control and manage them through pain, fear, and injuries. With varying tension, the sharp end and hook are thrust into vulnerable areas on the body of an elephant, and the handle serves as a club that strikes regions where the tissue is thin and creates a barrier between bone and skin.
Months of traveling
The animals in circuses spend around 11 months a year traveling. Over a long time traveling long distances, they could be chained when performing, transported in vehicles with no temperature control, and then forced to sit or lie within their own waste.
Social isolation and cramped living conditions.
Elephants in the wild reside in large social groups and can walk as much as 30 miles per day. Most wild animals found in circus environments, such as tigers and lions, are also constantly moving in their natural habitats. The deprivation of these animals’ ability to move about and interact naturally with other people of their species and engage in other natural behavior is cruel to them in the most fundamental sense.
Circus animals pose dangers to the health and safety of the public.
Stress and aggression caused by confinement that is not natural.
The animals in circuses are pushed to live lives that are significantly away from the lives they would have. The struggle between their instincts and the reality of captivity – along with training methods that employ violence or fear creates wild animals with vast levels of stress. It’s no wonder that certain animals get agitated and engage in rages that hurt and kill others.
Animals are looking for freedom and space and freedom from their confines.
The conditions in which animals live in circuses can stifle their instincts and causes extreme stress. Numerous instances of animals looking for freedom and space and freedom, leaving their enclosures in circuses and freely wandering out of the area where they perform. They are wild animals that circuses have brought to proximity to human settlements, which could cause a threat to the people.
Animals may carry disease.
Circus elephants could have tuberculosis (TB), and since the Circus draws animals in unnatural proximity to humans, they may be infected. The public records reveal that many circuses have had a history of tuberculosis among their elephants. They also have reported that many have utilized TB-positive animals in public shows.
They must be more educational and an excellent way to help wildlife conservation.
The Circus is entertainment, not educational. The spectacle of wild animals performing unnatural tricks doesn’t teach children respect or love for animals. Instead, circuses show youngsters that abusing and maltreating animals is acceptable to entertain themselves.
This isn’t conservation.
As part of Circus “conservation” programs, the endangered animals have never been released into the wild, and most are scheduled to be “replacement” performers. Conservation is used to justify the program for breeding captives. They are not addressing the dangers endangered animals face in the wild, like the poaching of trophy hunters, loss of habitat and prey, and captive-bred animals that were never intended for release into the wild.
Laws need to be more adequate in regulating circuses.
Federal legislation known as the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) was enacted in 1969 to guarantee the humane treatment and care of warm-blooded animals bred for commercial use and research purposes and transported commercially or shown for public display. The individuals or organizations licensed under AWA must offer their animals specific requirements for care and treatment in areas such as housing, handling sanitation, nutrition, medical care, water, and protection from extreme temperatures and weather. These requirements, however, are insufficient and don’t adequately safeguard animals in a circus from abuse, neglect, inappropriate handling and training, and other issues related to the Circus.
Implementation of the welfare standards is also a concern. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service ( APHIS), a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is the only agency with the power to apply the law. In January 2018, under APHIS, 112 inspectors were accountable for observing the conditions of around 8,272 establishments, 2620 licensed as exhibitors showing exotic animals to the public. The majority of circuses are only subject to periodic inspections.