Cason ButcherLA – BCircus animals are being abused and why they should be freedEleven months a year circus animals travel long distances in box cars with no climate control; eating, sleeping, and defecating in the same cage. In 1782 the first circus opened in Paris with the popular Barnum and Bailey circus opening in 1919. The Barnum and Bailey circus historically has had over 1,000 circuses in the U.S. There are approximately 230 elephants used in circuses across America. The animal cruelty, unnatural habitat, and animal attacks are evidence that circuses use of animals should be outlawed.
Trainers in circuses commonly use fear and cruelty as methods to train an animal to perform. Whips, bullhooks, muzzles, electric prods, and whips are training tools used to break a wild animals spirit. Babies are prematurely seperated from their mothers causing panic and distress to both the mother and baby. Dramatic entertainment with fire and loud noises, threats that animals are naturally afraid of, are imposed on the animals. This cruelty is unethical and should not be used for our entertainment purposes. Being in an unnatural habitat can effect a wild animal’s psychological state, health, and well being. The nature of a circus, traveling entertainment, requires animals to have compact living areas for transportation. Virtually 96% of a circus animal’s life is spent chained up in a cage.
Animals traveling in boxcars can have travel times up to 100 hours. This can lead animals to suffer from psychological problems, demonstrated by swaying back and forth, pacing, self mutilation, and head bobbing. It can be argued that releasing domesticated circus animals into the wild would also be harmful to the animal. Fortunately there are about 20 sanctuaries for tigers alone that could help transition a circus animal somewhat back into the wild. The contrast between a wild habitat and a circus life for an animal is incredibly different, with one it is about greed of making money and the other is about truly caring for the animals. Circus animals being abused in an unnatural habitat can lead to attempts of escape. Fighting back, an animals natural instinct, usually leads to the animal being shot and killed. Since 1990 there have been more than 125 documented attacks from large cats in the U.
S., thirteen of which were fatal to the handlers. Elephants since 2000 have had more than 35 incidents, which includes bolting from circuses, crashing through buildings, killing and injuring trainers, and attacking people in public. It is inhumane to put animals in a position where they cannot defend themselves.
Circus animals are being abused and they should be set free. Circus animals are treated cruelly during the training process and exposed to stressful environments. Trains, cages, and tents are not adequate homes for wild animals. The emotional distress of these animals is demonstrated on their handlers. This mistreatment and abuse should be ended by making animal animal entertainment illegal.