Say no to animals in touring exhibits

The “best spectacle on Earth” has taken an enormous step in the direction of true greatness. After a five-year hiatus, Ringling Brothers Circus lately introduced its return to the circuit subsequent 12 months, pet-free. Households will get pleasure from a enjoyable night with the information and luxury that no animals have been used for leisure.

The well-known circus firm with Connecticut roots going again to PT Barnum made the choice to depart animal exhibits out of its lineup for a stable purpose: the rising aversion to animals in leisure amongst audiences has partly led to a pointy decline in ticket gross sales through the years. The numbers converse on to how folks now not need to see elephants, tigers, lions and others pressured to carry out laughter methods.

Sadly, even the Connecticut Basic Meeting didn’t come to this realization. Once more this 12 months, state lawmakers didn’t enact a invoice to ban wild and unique animals from circuses and touring exhibits. Comparable legal guidelines are already in place in six states and in additional than 150 native jurisdictions together with Bridgeport and Stamford. However and not using a statewide ban in Connecticut, the follow continues right here.

Certainly, the motive force to vary the antiquated enterprise mannequin for circuses goes far past poor ticket gross sales. With social media and quick access to information from across the nation, the truth of those animals’ lives is now clearly earlier than our eyes. Animals in touring circuses endure lengthy durations of intense confinement, bodily and social deprivation, and brutal and violent strategies of management. The general public can see how animals that carry out for enjoyable undergo horrible residing situations, accidents and abuse whereas being disadvantaged of the whole lot that’s pure to them.

A 2019 research by the Monmouth College Polling Institute revealed that greater than half of People would assist a regulation banning using wild animals in circuses. Moreover, in the identical survey, solely three in 10 People felt that circus animals are handled effectively. “There isn’t any query that animal acts are merciless and pointless enterprise,” says animal advocate Karen Laski, a board member of Connecticut Votes for Animals, an animal advocacy group. “Animals can’t be animals and their lives are eternally desolate.”

This 12 months’s laws to ban wild and unique animals from touring leisure exhibits in Connecticut had 40 legislative co-sponsors on either side of the aisle. However regardless of bipartisan assist, coupled with robust assist from animal advocates and the general public, the invoice was by no means referred to as for debate within the courtroom. Although dissatisfied, supporters are decided to convey the measure again subsequent 12 months.


Within the meantime, you should utilize your voice – and your pockets – to talk for the animals; say “no” to exhibits that embrace animal acts. It clearly makes a distinction.

Ilene Lefland is on the board of administrators and Julia Slaughter is a volunteer for CT Votes for Animals.

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