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Is there any place for Animals in Circuses in the 21st century?
animal rights |
Wednesday April 04, 2012 23:46 by Christopher O Riordan
Last week a circus worker at a circus based in cork was seriously injured when a Indian Elephant accidently fell upon him. I look at how in the 21st century using wild animals for entertainment ishumane and should not be acceptable.
Elephants on Promotional Parade in Carlow town
Is there any place for Circuses in the 21st century?
Last week the debate about circuses and there use of animals was brought to the forefront of the media once again, mainly due to the injury of one of the circus workers. That man, who worked as one of the elephant minders, was crushed accidently by an elephant who had charged in her pen by another Elephant, at the Courtney Brothers circus that was stationed in Blackpool last week. Sadly circus worker remains in a serious condition in Cork regional hospital.
Surely the time has come for circuses that originated in the 18th century, to stop there use of animals, especially wild animals. Earlier that week’’ Baby’’ a forty year old Indian elephant escaped from her handlers and ran into a neighbouring retail estate car park in Blackpool .The fact that wild elephant manages to escape its handlers and goes gallivanting off in a populated area must raise questions about the practices of this particular circus.
The circus says that it is holding an inquiry into the matter as it is not normal for their elephants to behave in such a way and that they are looking into the possibility that the Elephants may have been drugged. However it surely one would expect strange behaviour from an Animal that is so far away from its natural environment.
Animal Rights Action Network president John Carmody states ‘’ The accident this week just reinforces what we have been saying all along, Emergency Legislation needs to be put place by the Government as a matter of urgency to ban Animal Act circuses or who knows what else will happen. He claims that incidents like this will happen due animals going wild from stress. There is also a concern for the workers in these circuses, as it is not known how qualified they are to be working with wild animals, and could be possibly be putting themselves at risk.
A second question that could be raised is that the original incident of ‘’Baby ‘’ escaping and running 2ooyds into a retail car park may have been a strange publicity stunt in hope of getting the circus into the local news and possibly creating more revenue through attendance.
The elephants themselves have been to all sorts of events - they don't get fazed by flashing lights or traffic. It's good for them’’ said Jim Courtney general manager of the Courtney’s circus ,after the circus caused controversy by parading three Elephants through the main street of Carlow Town in a publicity stunt to promote the circus. The stunt in Carlow received both positive and negative publicity for the circus .
However after wards Jim Courtney General Manager of the circus said when questioned about the incident in Carlow ‘’There is no such thing as Bad publicity and we have experienced good crowds in Carlow’’.
He went on to say ‘’an elephant, if you could get it, is worth €100,000 and we have five elephants here so that €500,000. We don't abuse them. ‘It’s kind of ironic that his reason for proving that they don’t abuse them is financial. It re-enforces a point, Circuses are businesses and there is no place for wild animals in business.
Many circuses have finally seen the light and are no longer using animals such as elephants as a way to spice up a nights entertainment. Surely the days when we need to be entertained by wild animals should have gone out with the Roman colosseum .Society should surely recognise that we shouldn’t take wild animals, and force them to perform party tricks for us in a ring. Society is surely not so inhuman in the 21st century that we can still call this entertainment.
Baby makes a run for it!!