FAUN (Friends of Animals United NJ/NY) recently hosted a four day demo in Garfield, NJ against the Cole Brothers Circus. Compassionate, dedicated members of FAUN protested the abuse, cruelty and inhumane confinement of animals in the circus as well as informed the public of the safety issues involved with attending circuses with exotic animals. Advocates held signs, handed out Break the Chain leaflets and talked to circus-goers in an effort to raise awareness for animals in the circus.
Cole Brothers has a long history of animal abuse, neglect and violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Most recently in April 2012 they agreed to pay $15,000 to settle charges that included:
• failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals; specifically, one elephant was found to be severely underweight.
• failure to handle an elephant during public exhibition in a way that assured the safety of the animal and the public. The circus employed a handler who lacked adequate training and experience in handling elephants. The USDA found that the handler, “repeatedly hit the elephant with an ankus during both rides and circus performance.”
• employing a tiger handler who “lacked adequate training, knowledge and experience in handling tigers.”
“If the public were more aware of the cruel abusive training methods used to force these animals to perform such unnatural “stunts,” and the inhumane confinement they are subjected to, I believe they would reconsider attending circuses with animals and make a more informed and compassionate choice,” stated advocate Dee De Santis. “People only see these animals for the few minutes they’re performing but are unaware of what happens once they are finished with their performance. I observed magnificent tigers kept in transport cages, two per cage with enough room to stand up and turn around in. This is where they eat, sleep and relieve themselves while the circus is on the road 9-10 months out of the year; the only time they are out of these cages is during their performance. Not only is it inhumane, it is cruel and dangerous. Countries around the world, as well as municipalities in the United States, have partial or full bans on circus animals. It’s so important to support HR 3359, The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act. This bill can end the cruelty and ensure the safety of the public. If other countries can ban this archaic cruel form of “entertainment,” so can we.”