Shriners International: End the Use of Exotic Animals in your Circuses!

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People around the world have woken up to a simple fact: the use of exotic animals in traveling entertainment is archaic and cruel. That is why numerous circuses, including Ringling Bros, have closed and hundreds of bans have been enacted in countries, states, counties, cities, and venues eliminating the practice of using animals in circuses.

The Shriners will tell you that their circuses support children suffering from illness. However, the numerous "Shrine Circuses" that take place around the country only serve to support the operations of the individual Shrine chapters. The monies are used to "keep their lights on," not to provide funding to children in need.

Most Shrine Circuses continue to make use of animals. The Shriners hire circuses which rent animals for their performances. For instance, Jordan World Circus, which often performs as a Shrine Circus, rents their elephant act from the Carden family. The Shriners COULD opt to host circuses without animals, yet they choose animal cruelty as a fundraising ploy. 

The tigers, elephants, and other exotic animals used by these circuses are forced to travel continuously trapped in tiny cages and boxcars, beaten with bullhooks and whipped, and denied the opportunity to live any semblance of a natural life. All of this happens not for the benefit of children, but to pay for the operational costs of individual Shrine chapters.

It is time that the Shriners did the right thing and instituted an organizational policy that no being should need to suffer for the enjoyment of another, no matter what the cause. Join us in asking Shriners International to ban the use of exotic animals in their circuses.