Beginning May 1st, 2014, the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville will host the Ringling Brothers Circus.
Animal circuses are inherently cruel and inhumane.
Animals in circuses spend about 11 months/year traveling, during which time they are chained, isolated, forced to stand in their own waste and to tolerate unhealthy extremes of temperature. Animals are trained using methods based upon fear and pain, starting when they are separated from their mothers as babies. Social animals are isolated and "broken" to allow this cruel training to take place. Standard circus industry training tools used on animals include bullhooks, whips, clubs, and electric prods.
Every major circus that uses animals has been cited for violating the minimal standards of care set forth in the United States Animal Welfare Act (AWA); however, officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which enforces the AWA) have repeatedly ignored obvious physical trauma to animals, eyewitness accounts of mistreatment, and sworn testimony from former circus employees who report abuse of elephants.
We believe that this dark and cruel industry has no place in our community.