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Massachusetts Lawmakers Seek Ban on Circuses That Use Elephants

Paws Up!
May 13, 2017

To Massachusetts Representative Lori Ehrlich (D) and Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives (D) for introducing a bill that would ban circuses from using elephants in Massachusetts.

Elephants are revered for their intelligence and strength. The experience of seeing an elephant in person is breathtaking. These powerful giants are highly social animals capable of deep emotion, memories, and language, and social bonds.  So why would traveling circuses choose to exploit these  magnificent creatures by confining them? Simply stated, these animals have been exhibited and exploited by circuses for entertainment and profit. More and more families are realizing the inhumanity of subjecting  wild animals to a lifetime of imprisonment for human pleasure. Many cities in the U.S. have banned the circus and exotic wildlife entertainment. In response to growing public awareness, Feld Entertainment retired their elephants in May 2016, and closed the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus this spring.

According to a recent news article, Massachusetts legislators have introduced House Bill 418 / Senate Bill 1898 that would prohibit traveling circuses featuring elephants to perform in the state. Currently, the Melha Shrine Circus is in town promising “wholesome entertainment in a safe environment,” but people who think beyond the stage in concern to the welfare of the animals know better.  Spectators do not see the many hours of abuse and isolation the elephants must endure to perform tricks for a paying crowd.  These unnatural acts put undue stress on the elephants’ muscles and many elephants in captivity sway back and forth or repeat neurotic actions. Veterinarians refer to this symptom as stereotypy, which is readily observed in stressed captive elephants.  

To learn more about animals in entertainment, please order or download our free brochure.

Take Action:  Massachusetts’ residents, contact your legislators now and ask them to supportHB 418/SB 1889.  See example letter below:

The Honorable {Representative’s Name}
{Address}
{City, State Zip}

                                                          Re: House Bill 418 / Senate Bill 1898 to Ban Elephants from Traveling Circus Shows

Dear Representative {Name of Your Representative}:

My name is {Your Name} and I am a resident of Massachusetts. I am writing to ask that you please vote “Yes” for House Bill 418 / Senate Bill 1898.

When I was a young child, I remember the circus coming to town and attending a show.  I remember feeling awe at beholding an elephant so close, but now I feel sadness stemming from how these animals exist in cages, unable to express their natural instincts.  Please, make Massachusetts   a more humane place. Let wild animals live free.   

Please support House Bill 418 / Senate Bill 1898 that would protect these majestic creatures from a life of imprisonment and harm.  Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,
{Your Name} 

                                                

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