Asheville Voice for Animals plans protest of Ringling Bros. Circus

Asheville Voice for Animals has called for a protest and boycott of the Ringling Bros. Circus, which will be in Asheville this coming week. Planned to take place at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville starting Thursday, May 8, the protest is one in a series planned as the circus visits various towns. From an email about the protest:

As you may know, The Ringling Bros Circus will be in your area next week and you will likely see locals protesting there. I’m writing to ask you to consider boycotting anything to do with Ringling Bros Circus because they treat their animal with documented horrific cruelty. Most of these animals are in constant agony. Ringling subjects all their animals to brutal” training,” including their baby elephants. Bears, elephants, tigers, lions 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 Ringling’s circus, there is no such thing as “positive reinforcement”—only varying degrees of punishment and deprivation.  

Neither child nor adult should be giving a single dollar to Ringling Bros. because they will use it to buy stun guns, whips, electrical prods and bullhooks to torture their animals with until they comply. For your entertainment. This is nothing less than slavery. I know you wouldn’t want to be part of such horrific treatment of innocent and magnificent animals, nor would you help fund their suffering if you knew that’s what you were money was used for.
LEARN MORE ABOUT RINGLING BROS. CIRCUS CRUELTY:–For dozens of cruelty violations between 2007 and 2011, Ringling paid the USDA $270,000 for failure to comply with humane treatment laws. This is the largest penalty ever assessed against an exhibitor for animal cruelty. Violations include:

–Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals, including an elephant with a large swelling on her leg, a camel with bloody wounds, and a camel injured on train tracks.

–Endangering tigers who were nearly baked alive in a boxcar because of poor maintenance of their enclosures.

–Failure to test elephants for tuberculosis.

–At least 29 elephants, including four babies, have died since 1992, including an 8-month-old baby elephant named Riccardo who was destroyed after he fractured his hind legs when he fell from a circus pedestal. In 2004, a 2-year-old lion died of apparent heatstroke while the circus train crossed the Mojave Desert.

PLEASE PLEASE boycott Ringling Bros. and those businesses supporting them- no matter where they are or what they are doing in your town. It’s a simple and moral way to stand up for what’s good and right. The circus is slavery. The animals could go free if nobody came to see them.



About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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