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Bay Area humane societies call for boycott of Ringling Bros. Circus

By Gary Bogue
Friday, July 31st, 2009 at 7:49 am in Ringling Bros..

Below are excerpts from a press release I just received from Carrie Harrington, communications manager, of Marin Humane Society:

(NOVATO, CALIF., July 30, 2009) — The Marin Humane Society, Sonoma Humane Society, East Bay SPCA (Oakland), Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (San Mateo), San Francisco SPCA, and the Sacramento SPCA today publicly called for a boycott of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, citing the company’s routine abuse of animals. Ringling Bros. is scheduled to perform in Oakland, San Jose, and Sacramento this August. …

Chained elephant photo by Animal Welfare Institute, Washington, DC

Bay Area and Sacramento humane organizations agree: Life is no circus for performing animals. Behind the scenes, trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, bullhooks, electric prods … to force animals to perform tricks. … Shockingly, laws and regulations offer circus animals minimal protection, and they are rarely enforced.

Circuses with performing animals send the wrong message to children, since wild animals are living beings and not meant to be exploited for entertainment purposes. “The fact is, animals do not naturally ride bicycles, walk on their hind legs, balance on balls, or jump through flaming hoops,” said Suzanne Golt, executive director for the Marin Humane Society. “There are many wonderful circuses that do not use animals, such as Cirque du Soleil, and they are just as exciting and entertaining, if not more so, than those that do.”

** FOUNDED IN 1907, The Marin Humane Society is a progressive, award-winning animal shelter, offering refuge and rehabilitation to nearly 8,000 animals each year through a variety of community services, including adoptions, foster care, behavior and training, humane education, lost and found pet services, low-cost clinics, and much more. For more information about the Marin Humane Society, visit

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