No to animals in circuses

No to animals in circuses

Last week a Jewish institution brought a traveling circus featuring elephants, tigers, camels, and ponies to Bergen County. This is not the first year it had brought the circus to its grounds.

Earlier this month politicians in Mexico City voted to outlaw the use of animals in circuses, joining a growing number of states and municipalities around the world to do so.

According to an article on the web by Stephen Messenger, in a historic vote, circuses in Mexico City have one year to phase out animals in their shows. After that, they risk fines of up to $70,000. The law was passed nearly unanimously, with 41 legislators in support, 11 abstaining, and none voting against it.

More than 35 countries around the globe have either nationwide or local bans in place that restrict the use of wild animals in circuses. There is a reason for that. In traveling circuses, wild animals cannot move around or exercise naturally. They live their whole lives chained or tied up, or in small cages that fit on the back of a truck. Investigations show that violence to control animals is part of circus culture: animals are beaten, whipped, and given electric shocks to make them perform tricks.

Representative Jim Moran of Virginia recently reintroduced the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act to Congress, aiming to end the inhumane treatment of animals for entertainment across the nation. If the act passes, the Bergen County Jewish institution will not be able to bring the traveling circus to its grounds next year.

Those who would like to see the act pass should contact their representative in Congress.