• Petitioned The City of Jacksonville

This petition was delivered to:

The City of Jacksonville

Say no to cruelty and protect public health by banning animal circuses.

    1. Julie Watkins
    2. Petition by

      Julie Watkins

      Jacksonville, FL

** UPDATE: USDA fines Ringling Brothers $270,00 for animal mistreatment last month. Read full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/28/ringling-bros-feld-fined-usda-animal-welfare_n_1117584.html **

Bears, elephants, tigers, and other animals do not voluntarily ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire. They don't perform these and other difficult tricks because they want to; they perform them because they're afraid of what will happen if they don't.

For animals in circuses, there is no such thing as "positive reinforcement"—only varying degrees of punishment and deprivation. To force them to perform these meaningless and physically uncomfortable tricks, trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks, and other painful tools of the trade.

In the Ringling Bros. circus, elephants are beaten, hit, poked, prodded, and jabbed with sharp hooks, sometimes until bloody. Ringling breaks the spirit of elephants when they're vulnerable babies who should still be with their mothers. Unsuspecting parents planning a family trip to the circus don't know about the violent training sessions with ropes, bullhooks, and electric shock prods that elephants endure. Heartbreaking photos reveal how Ringling Bros. circus trainers cruelly force baby elephants to learn tricks, and it's not through a reward system, as they claim.

CRUEL TRAINING

Circuses easily get away with routine abuse because no government agency monitors training sessions. Undercover video footage of animal training sessions has shown that elephants are beaten with bullhooks and shocked with electric prods, big cats are dragged by heavy chains around their necks and hit with sticks, bears are whacked and prodded with long poles, and chimpanzees are kicked and hit with riding crops.

CONSTANT CONFINEMENT

Constant travel means that animals are confined to boxcars, trailers, or trucks for days at a time in extremely hot and cold weather, often without access to basic necessities such as food, water, and veterinary care. Elephants, big cats, bears, and primates are confined to cramped and filthy cages in which they eat, drink, sleep, defecate, and urinate—all in the same place.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus boasts that its two units travel more than 25,000 miles as the circus tours the country for 11 months each year. Ringling's own documents reveal that on average, elephants are chained for more than 26 hours straight and are sometimes continually chained for as many as 60 to 100 hours. Tigers and lions usually live and travel in cages that provide barely enough room for the animals to turn around, often with two big cats crammed into a single cage. In July 2004, Clyde, a young lion traveling with Ringling, died in a poorly ventilated boxcar while the circus was crossing the Mojave Desert, where temperatures reached at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Clyde likely died a miserable death from heatstroke and dehydration. Previously, two tigers with Ringling injured themselves while attempting to escape from their cages in an overheated boxcar.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,500 signatures
    2. The City Council Meeting Part 2

      Julie Watkins
      Petition Organizer

      con't....trying to teach her son the importance of respecting and appreciating life. She informed the council that circuses do neither, nor do they do anything to help protect or conserve endangered species. They are only in it for the money and ultimately the animals suffer. Patricia ended our portion of the meeting by letting the Council Members know the world is watching us! She listed all the countries who have banned exotic animal acts and referenced the cities across the nation who have done the same. She made a plea for Jacksonville to be progressive and become one of the first cities to ban wild animals in circuses. A great finish to the night! I don’t think it could have flowed any better.

      PLEASE CONTINUE TO SIGN AND SHARE THIS PETITION! OUR NEXT MEETING IS SLATED FOR JANUARY 10th. WE HOPE TO PRESENT THOUSANDS MORE SIGNATURES TO THE COUNCIL!

    3. The City Council Meeting

      Julie Watkins
      Petition Organizer

      Elizabeth was the first to speak setting the tone, establishing the purpose and speaking from the heart. Right after her speech Council Member Daniels pulled her aside saying her speech struck a chord in her and requested more information! Following Elizabeth, with a few other speakers in between, was Dori…expanding further on the public health aspect and she presented the Council with our petition of over 1200 signatures collected in just 3 days. Then we had back-to-back speakers with Jon and Heather Repole. Jon told a personal story about his first hand experience with circuses and how he witnessed abuse and cruelty. Heather covered a lot in her little amount of time and it flowed perfectly. She touched on the animals’ natural behaviors and how they can never express themselves naturally while confined in circuses. Rounding out the speakers was Cate and Patricia. Cate stated her case as a concerned parent....con't.

    4. Reached 1,000 signatures
    5. Petition to be presented to City Council on Tuesday, December 13, 2011.

      Julie Watkins
      Petition Organizer

      Please sign and share. We hope to have the full 3,000 signatures by Tuesday, December 13th to present to Jacksonville's City Council. Ringling Bros. is slated to perform in Jax on January 19, 2012 and we are going to do all that we can to have their permit rejected or pulled. Thanks!

    6. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Brandy Carvalho FERNANDINA BEACH, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      To stop inhumane treatment of animals!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • animal lover CUMBRIA, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 2 years ago

      I HATE ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES, IT SHOULD BE STOPPED NOW. LET THE ANIMALS LIVE A NORMAL HAPPY LIFE

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Patty Shenker LOS ANGELES, CA
      • almost 3 years ago

      Wild animals do not learn to do the stupid tricks people seem to want. All of them, whether they be big cats, primates or elephants, are beaten repeatedly & severely to learn. They are also denied any kind of a natural life so the cruelty and suffering is immense. Talented people should be in circuses, not wild animals!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rebecca Beauchamp DAYTON, OH
      • almost 3 years ago

      Animals caught up in human industry are inevitably abused. The only way to prevent this cruelty is to ban the industries that depend on them. The benefits to us would be immense, but not as great as the benefits to the animals affected.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mariana Gonzalez LEóN, MEXICO
      • almost 3 years ago

      animal cruelty has to stop.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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