Thursday, March 26, 2015

Great News for Elephants

Some of the best news I hear comes through Facebook. Just last week, one of my friends posted the news that Ringling Bros. would be phasing out elephants from its performances by 2018.

The company cited "a mood shift among our consumers." It also cited the difficulty of fighting local legislation that would affect its shows.  The local legislation it is are referring to ranges from outright bans to the use of the notorious bullhook,  a hooked tool commonly inserted in elephants' skin to train and corral them.
Ringling Bros. elephants 
In the company's statement, its CEO is quoted, "This decision was not easy, but it is in the best interest of our company, our elephants and our customers." The fact that the elephants' interests were cited is not only new, but a tacit admission that the animals' welfare was not served by the company's practices.

The OHS has been long opposed to captive wild animals in entertainment. In 2002, the OHS lobbied city council to ban elephants and other captive wild animals in circuses and other entertainment.  The city instead instituted a licensing regime. The OHS responded that the city should not license animal cruelty.

Today, only the annual Shrine Circus is a regular fixture in Ottawa. There is no legislation on the horizon. But in the end, money talks.It spoke to Ringling Bros. and it's taking action.

You can make your money talk by not supporting the Shrine or any circus.

For more information, a summary of the OHS's concerns can be found here

To read about the Ringling Bros. decision, click here.  

To read about how Mexico is expected to ban circus animals, click here

Bruce Roney
Executive Director