From March 27th to the 29th, peaceful demonstrations will be held in front of the FargoDome against the Shrine Circus, which will be performing on those dates in the mornings, evenings, and afternoons. The demonstrations will take place before the shows begin.
FULL PROTEST SCHEDULE:
March 27th, 2015
Evening show: 7:00pm
Demonstration: 5:30PM – 7:45PM
March 28th, 2015
Morning show: 10:00 AM
Demonstration: 8:30AM -10:00AM
Afternoon show: 2:00 PM
Demonstration: 12:30 PM – 2:30PM
Evening show: 6:00 PM
Demonstration: 5:00PM – 6:30PM
March 29th, 2015
Midday show: 12:00 PM
Demonstration: 10:30AM- 12:30PM
Afternoon show: 4:00 PM
Demonstration: 2:30 PM – 4:15PM
1800 N University Dr
Fargo, ND 58102
According to the Humane Society of the United States, circus animals are routinely beaten with clubs and bull hooks, electrocuted with cattle prods, and confined to small, often unsanitary cages and boxcars with no heat or air conditioning and little room to move. Based on reports from the USDA, Shrine Circuses in particular have a history of violating the Animal Welfare Act by physically abusing their animals and not providing food, water, or veterinary care.
On April 24th, members of UniverSoul Circus will appear in court on charges of animal abuse witnessed by audience members during a show in Atlanta, Georgia. It was last month that video footage was taken of a trainer sticking a bull hook into an elephant’s mouth. The trainer was arrested soon after.
Just recently, a four-month old lion cub named Magnus was rescued from a Spanish circus and given life-saving surgery. In an attempt to stunt his growth and keep him an attractive tourist attraction, his handlers fed him only yogurt and bread, and tried to have him euthanized when this diet made him sick. A fundraiser is being held to raise money for his medical expenses and his transference to the Glengarriff Lions Reserve in South Africa.
In October 2010, a lion tamer in Ukraine was killed by a lion in front of an audience—an incident similar to one in Mexico earlier that year, where a trainer was killed by a Bengal tiger.
Abused circus animals turning on their owners is hardly a new phenomenon. In a much-publicized case from 1916, Mary the elephant crushed her handler to death during a parade in Tennessee. Some witnesses said he had provoked her by yanking her chain or prodding her ears with a stick, but nonetheless, Mary was hanged by an industrial crane in front of over 2,500 onlookers.
For a full listing of anti-circus protests across the nation, head to circusprotest.com.
This article was previously published in the High Plains Reader.
– Särah Nour