The Shrine Circus is coming to Paris, Ontario this weekend. They, like all traveling circuses have a long history of despicable care and treatment for the performers including: failure to provide proper basic necessities like veterinary care, shelter, food, and water and visible animal abuse when they refused to perform. A cursory google search documents several acts of resistance in Canada by the Shrine circuses animals are available. In 1990, a 600 pound tiger escaped for 10 minutes terrifying the audience and trainers; in 1997 an elephant who was giving rides bit and knocked down a trainer during their performance; in 1988 an elephant several injured her trainer; in 1978 an elephant, chained, picked up her trainer and threw him resulting in fatal injuries.
Scanning through their website, they definitely invested time and effort into maintaining public relations and presenting their animals as if they are loved and care for as well as defending the role of circuses in society, and especially as educational tools for children.
“Without circuses, families around the world would rarely be able to witness exotic animals in an up-close environment. Not only can people witness the beauty of these animals, the animals act as ambassadors by educating the masses about their intellect, agility, strength and personality.
Circuses have been crucial partners in developing captive breeding programs, veterinary research projects and behavioral understanding of many exotic and endangered species. Without this valuable information and the cooperation that many circuses have with conservation initiatives, many of these species would have simply been lost to history. [lets not talk about how circuses and other entertainment/research industries are directly responsible for exotic animals no longer being able to live outside of institutions]
This website is dedicated to showing a side of the story that very few get to see… the truth about the dedication, love, trust and commitment that these animal share with their human partners. Too often the public falls prey to the misleading and inflammatory information against circuses and other animal exhibitors which is presented by certain animal special interest groups.”
I really like the last line. Let us remember who are the ones profiteering sickeningly off of the exploitated labour and abuse of nonhuman animals?
This is taken directly from the Facebook event page:
“Please join Marineland Animal Defense, Niagara Animal Defense League, Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance, Toronto ADL, Hamilton/Halton Animal Liberation Team and the Coalition for Circus Animal Freedom for a demonstration against the Shrine Circus in Paris, On on Friday August 1st.
In response to mass protest in 2012 the Shrine Circus brought their touring schedule down to 5 cities from 22. They are now trying to again expand and it is time to remind the Shriners that bullhooks and captive animal performance will not be tolerated!
The Shrine Circus has long lied about the motives claiming that they are fundraising efforts for the Shrine Hospital. This is demonstrably false as the Circus itself is run by a 3rd party (TZ Productions/USA) and the left over funds go back to the local autonomous Shriner club and not the distinct and separate Shrine Hospitals.
Enough with the lies – we will never compromise!
Signs and outreach information will be provided. Please dress appropriately. We aim to make the events kid friendly.
We intend to have a presence at all shows if possible. Let us know your schedules. Show times are below, we plan to be out an hour and half before each show.
August 1 – 7:00 pm / August 2nd – 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:00pm, / August 3rd – 12:30pm, 4:30pm / August 4th – 12:30pm, 4:30pm.”