Thursday, April 26, 2012

The other circus

Posted on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 4:00 AM

The circus is coming to Missoula.

The Western Montana Shrine Club contracts with the Jordan World Circus, which has lost its U.S. Dept. of Agriculture exhibitor’s license due to failures to meet minimal federal standards for care as determined by the Animal Welfare Act. Previous citations include several for inadequate veterinary care, safety issues and substandard nutrition, water and housing. Jordan now leases its animals from other exhibitors.

Circus animals lead sad lives of deprivation, constant confinement and abusive training. Charitable work for one species shouldn’t depend upon the exploitation of another; attending the circus sends all the wrong messages to kids about our obligation toward other species. Instead, consider contacting the Western Montana Shrine Club to see if they can earmark a donation to “provide transportation and lodging for children and their families at the Shrine Hospital for Children in Spokane,” which is what they indicate a portion of circus proceeds are used for.

Rather than watching defeated, coerced animals performing unnatural acts, consider doing something life-affirming. Western Montana offers many opportunities to teach kids a lesson in compassion, from visits and volunteer work at traditional humane shelters to donations to New Dawn Montana farmed animal sanctuary. If you know a Shriner, encourage him to start advocating for animal-free circuses.

Even when circus tickets are free, the cost to animals is too steep.

Kathleen Stachowski

Lolo

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