03/02/02 Circus is Not Amusing to Animals!

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The Rijeka Anarchist Initiative and Animal Friends are organizing protests in front of the circus Medrano in Rijeka, and delivering a request to the Rijeka city government for banning the circus acts involving the animals

We invite you to protest in front of the circus Medrano in Preluka near Rijeka, at Saturday and Sunday, on March 2 and 3, 2002. The first protest begins at 4 P.M., and the second at 6:30 P.M., i.e. half an hour before the shows start. We also invite you to the press conference that will be held at the club Palach at Sunday, on March 3 at 8 P.M., where we will show the film "The Ugliest Show on Earth" by the British group Animal Defenders, in which the suffering of animals in the circus was recorded.

During the protests in front of the circus we will be handing out flyers and we will draw people's attention to animal suffering in the circuses, as well as try to talk them out of going in. In addition to the press conference, at Sunday we will also give a short lecture on suffering of animals in circuses and on the alternatives like circuses with acts involving the people.

In addition to protests and the press conference, Animal Friends and Rijeka Anarchist Initiative will deliver to the City of Rijeka a request for banning the circus acts involving the animals, as it was previously done in Zagreb when the Italian circus Medrano was visiting it and our association organised protests and showed the mentioned movie, but also submitted the request to the city government.

Animals in circuses suffer terribly and they are abused in most horrifying ways. For the purpose of acts like jumping through a ring or walking the tightrope, the animals are taken away from their natural environment and wilderness in order to spend their whole lives confined in cages or trucks, travelling from one place to another.

As an organization for animal protection, we ask the City of Rijeka to join hundreds of world cities that are opposed to the use of animals for circuses. The city councils worldwide impose the bans on circus acts involving the animals and disallow the circuses to appear in their cities because of the horrible acts of cruelty they commit during the training, transport and accommodation of animals.

Animals in circuses are kept in chains most of their lives, or confined in small spaces and their transport vehicles. They are deprived of the food and water in order to avoid the mess. Chained, confined, lost and often even sedated, they are waiting for the training or the show to begin 90% of their time. Whips, cattle prods, and other "tools" are often used in order to make the animals perform.

There are no legal standards that would regulate the treatment of circus animals, their accommodation, transport and the whole series of acts they perform. Let us not forget that those are wild animals that are by their nature not used to travelling, different climates, performance of acts and confinement. The animals participating in shows are miserable victims of human manipulation, whose physical, social and other needs are ignored by those who benefit from their exploitation. The recent incidents in which the elephants killed or seriously injured their trainers led to a more serious consideration of the stress that the animals suffer if they are taken away from their natural environment and brought into the world of "entertainment," which for them represents a world of constant confinement and performance of difficult and pointless acts.

Circus and other acts involving the animals do not represent preservation or education. They are not amusing either, because looking at somebody's suffering and looking at the pointless and painful movements caused by the beating could never be amusing. No, it is not amusing, but it is tragic.

We ask the City of Rijeka that the governing body of this city, whose citizens love the animals and are not blind to their suffering, as well as the Mayor and everybody who is responsible for reputation and appearance of Rijeka, condemn such attitude toward animals. We ask them to prevent the suffering and misery of those animals and disallow circuses with acts involving the animals to visit this city again. Rijeka is a city full of good people, who do not participate in torture of the animals, and the protests in front of the circus Medrano, that is here at the moment, have proved it, as well as the numerous signatures on our petitions all over Croatia for placing the ban on circus acts involving the animals, and, finally, the interest that the citizens showed for animals in the circus by offering their help in the campaign against it.

We ask that the ban be placed on circus acts in our city involving the animals. Regardless of the possible profit they yield, because that blood-stained money is not more important than the suffering of innocent animals. Rijeka is not corruptible!

By such act, Rijeka would join the cities of the Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, the United States of America, and other countries that disallow the circus acts involving the animals and thereby do not participate in the horrible suffering and exploitation of the animals.



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