What a circus: Should animals be part of the show?

The last stand?: Elephants and their riders strike a pose at the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, recently. Some cities, like Minneapolis, are considering banning wild animals from circus performances (Flickr photo by Edith Frost)
The last stand?: Elephants and their riders strike a pose at the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, recently. Some cities, like Minneapolis, are considering banning wild animals from circus performances (Flickr photo by Edith Frost)

The debate at Minneapolis City Hall keeps churning on: should wild animals be banned from performances in circuses in the city?

If the proposed ordinance would pass, it would make it illegal for circuses to showcase lions, tiger, elephants or other exotic animals. Sponsors of the proposed ordinance say that animals in the shows are often mistreated.

So far in the U.S., only one city, Albuquerque, N.M., has an animal ban for circuses. And in action at the Minneapolis City Council on Thursday, Sept. 20, council members weren’t ready to go to an all-out ban, but passed measures for tighter regulations and fines for animal mistreatment.

So what do you think? Should wild animals be freed from circus performance? Or do they have a great life of easy food, great travel and fun companionship. Personally, I think I’d prefer to be a circus animal than an animal in a zoo. Would you be more or less inclined to go to a circus if it didn’t have wild animals? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Shannon's picture
Shannon says:

Definitely keep animals OUT OF THE CIRCUS! Wild animals do not belong in hot, non-ventilated boxcars, or chained 23 hours a day, beaten with bullhooks until they bleed, or caged in quarters so small they can barely turn around. It's pitiful and I have documented the result of those bullhook "guides" (what a joke) on tape, not to mention the hundreds of others as well.

They were just here in Dallas and even one of the security people witnessed a beating during the day when there was no show. They cover up the abcesses and boils with Wonder Dust, a grey powder that blends in with their skin. I caught one on tape they forgot to cover inside the thigh of one of the elehants, and numerous lumps and bumps that were covered on every single elephant. The tool of torture, the "extention of the trainer's arm" they claim (my arm doesn't have a hook at the end, does yours?) is a standard across the board practice to keep elephants terrified and submissive. Electric prods are also used with them, but they don't leave wounds. Their lives are miserable. Only 23 of the elephants Ringling uses were born in captivity (their "conservation" program); the rest were captured from the wild and torn from their families. I cannot imagine a more cruel life. Plus, many of the elephants have a human strain of TB, totally antibiotic resistant, that endangers anyone who comes into close contact with them, like children riding them, workers (one of them died as a result of it already) and the people at the "preshow". There are more sophisticated ways to be entertained than watching wild animals be reduced to cowering creatures performing stupid and demeaning "tricks".

posted on Sat, 09/22/2007 - 10:09am
somebody's picture
somebody says:

idk what im doing here right now im bored, but I think that animals should be taken out of circuses

posted on Tue, 03/11/2008 - 5:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

personally i dont care if animals are in circuses.

posted on Thu, 03/19/2009 - 2:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

can you holding a glass of water for one hour? now think about two! this turn harder as the time increases. think about elephants are chained 23 hours a day, can you hold the glass of water 24 hrs, what about if you think about holding it for the rest of your life?

posted on Sat, 12/05/2009 - 12:18am
pollock gurl's picture

but how would you like it if you were an animal and you were chained up for 23 hours a day, with not much food or water? being trained up for the circus say 4 hours before the circus took place you would hate it they are like us they have lives', they would like to be set into the wild than being used for a show, so why aren't you bothered?

posted on Tue, 09/21/2010 - 8:45am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

well would you like to be whipped and chained EVERY DAY?????

posted on Thu, 03/03/2011 - 1:14pm
Anonymouse's picture
Anonymouse says:

if they try to fight back they will be killed!

posted on Sat, 11/03/2012 - 12:17pm
kara's picture
kara says:

Animals are very badly hurt at circuses and it is very nasty to see how badly treated they are at backstage. Tigers are chained up in small cages and i love tigers i nearly had the urge of letting them out but it would be to dangerous. I think shannon is right about the poor elephants i saw a bad bruse and a cut on his back it was also bleeding and i think that was the place where they whipped the poor creature i mean it is wrong, for animals to perform in circuses and it SHOULD BE BANNED it isnt nice and can be harmful to the very endangered animals such as tigers and even elephants. a tiger had just had a baby in a cage at the circus and the mother was taken away from her cub and was made to perform with week legs and got whipped three times it was absolutely petrifying i was gob smacked i couldn't believe it when her little cub was then brought on stage to perform tricks it was so nasty i cried i wanted to hit the bloke who trained them but i couldn't they were barred off.

posted on Sat, 04/05/2008 - 10:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I also think that animals should not be in circuses. i dont think that there is any excuse for the mistreatment of animals.

posted on Thu, 03/19/2009 - 4:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Animals deserve the same respect we give to other human beings. Their feelings can be hurt just as bad and don't like to be whipped either. I hope the relationship between animals and humans will improve in the future so the world can be a better place.

posted on Thu, 03/19/2009 - 4:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What respect? Humans don't respect eachother. Hollywood is just like a circus. This whole thing is a large case of hypocracy.

posted on Wed, 08/04/2010 - 1:12pm
Anonymous 's picture
Anonymous says:

Well, I don't know about you, but most humans do respect each other, and animals should be respected as well.

posted on Wed, 12/03/2014 - 4:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i would have toagree... for kids, the animals in the circus are fun... but scar the lifes of the animals used there. I think that they can be used in the circus, just not the way that they are now. I want to see if the circuses can get any better, maybe by doing some research on what the anmal can or can not do physicaly so that they don't get hurt.

posted on Thu, 06/16/2011 - 12:11pm


posted on Tue, 06/10/2014 - 8:16am
Aliya's picture
Aliya says:

I agree with you 100 percent! I cannot even believe animal circuses are still legal, there is documented evidence of abuse and NO ONE is doing anything to stop it. These gentle beasts are known to be highly sensitive and caring, and these disgusting handlers are beating them and prodding them into submission, it makes me SO angry. I really hope that we can put a stop to it, it breaks my heart. There is a circus coming to my town in a couple weeks that I am hoping to protest. Thank you so much for what you wrote, it's good to know there are good people out there like you.

posted on Sat, 03/23/2013 - 12:08pm
Hannah's picture
Hannah says:

Animals should be part of a circus. Animals might want to do stupid stuff. its a animal. think of ur dog, wouldn't he or she want to jump over a fence or ;earn how to do cool tricks?? Just think about it.

posted on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 11:33am
Shannon's picture
Shannon says:

If you want to see the cold, hard truth and witness it for you own eyes, visist

posted on Sat, 09/22/2007 - 10:10am
They are more entertaining in the Wild's picture
They are more entertaining in the Wild says:

I do not think it's right to use animals in the circus. What we require of them, what they must give up, is simply too much. It is inherently cruel, even without the beatings, bullhooks, electric prods, disease, and other stresses. When I was young, my parents took me to the circus. I watch human circus performers do amazing things, and I enjoy these elaborate, cruelty-free, and awe-inspiring performances every chance I get. These shows are so much more entertaining anyway! Seeing an elephant stand on a ramp does not compare to watching people do gravity-defying stunts or feats of amazing strength, and in beautiful costumes and makeup. I do not believe people need to see an elephant stand on a ramp anymore when they can see elephants on Planet Earth doing far more fantastic things. Maybe Ringling needs the animals because the humans lack any talent.

posted on Sun, 09/23/2007 - 6:26pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How can people be so cruel to animals It makes me sick to think how cruel people really can be to animals .How would they like it to be whipped and hit if they didnt perform properly .Im so glad it is banned because it was discusting and inhumane .

posted on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 10:03am
jayden's picture
jayden says:

what do the animals get out of performing nothing they just get wipet and hunt they should be let free. :(

posted on Tue, 10/28/2008 - 7:55pm
Kristal's picture
Kristal says:

im doing a debate on circus are not a place for animals and im on he neg. team
i have found out alot of things about how they rnt a place for animals but circus are slowly reducing the amount of animals they use for their shows.
and their are alot of other reasons why they should keep going
i belive that some should be banned and others keep going
but you cant just go and say ALL should be banned.

posted on Mon, 10/22/2007 - 4:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that animals shouldn't be in the circus period. its just wrong would any of you want to be locked up in cages and beat with ropes with hooks at the end ITS JUST COMPLETELY WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 9:51pm
Peyton's picture
Peyton says:

Circus animals should be BANNED!!!!!

posted on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 12:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Gina says,

just because you 'think' youv seen a miss treated animal duznt mean it happens all the time to all animals in all the circus' a bullhook??? wot the hell?? iv never even hurd of onen iv been involved in ciruses all my life! you people need facts! id rather see animals in the circus than in the zoo!! and how many of you will actualy Go to a circus if it had no animals? and ok some of you say you have proof well prove it! because as i said before maby you have seen animals miss treated, ok well what can i say? all i know is if youv seen it ones it duznt mean youv seen it all.
!!!!!!!!!!!!KEEP ANIMALS IN THE CIRCUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sun, 11/25/2007 - 4:18am
G's picture
G says:

The proof is in the pudding Gina. Videos upon videos of countless acts of cruelty to animals. Do your homework. You've seen a circus, but obviously you haven't seen what goes on behind the scenes. By the way, have you ever heard of Cirque Du Soliel. The most popular circus in the world? They don't use animals. Isn't it funny how you say how many people would go to the circus if it didn't have animals, when the question should be, how many people DON'T go to the circus because it uses animals? YOU are clearly the one without the facts. I'm sorry to say, but your completely misinformed. By the way...You might want to edit future postings for grammar and punctuation. Respectfully, please keep an open mind, and check out Thank you

posted on Mon, 03/24/2008 - 1:18pm
Miss Siddy~'s picture
Miss Siddy~ says:

Really? You must of never watched the new or read papers or anything! Animals are constanly being abused in the cirus and people like you (who are uninformed D:) Dont seem to get that they just try to hind it. Ive seen a tiger bleeding to deaf back stage you dont belive me? Just look it up on You-Tube k?
Thaaank yoou and....
Good Bye~


posted on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 3:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I don't think animals should be part of circuses. Most circus animals are endangered species and deserve a better home.

posted on Mon, 11/26/2007 - 2:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i dont think animals should be a part of circuses

posted on Tue, 12/08/2009 - 2:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think its true they shoul be banned it is so cruel some one must have a lot of nerve to hurt an animal if someone is killed it is there own FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! along with that they test stuff animals like putting BLEACH in there EYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
selfish cowards!!

posted on Tue, 11/27/2007 - 2:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

yah, its like, really mean to be practicly torchering animals. Animals should be out in the wild where they belong. not in circuses where they could get hurt.

posted on Thu, 12/06/2007 - 10:47am
hey there's picture
hey there says:

I aggree with u. animals are people to. how wolud u like to be caged? I hope not!!!!!!!!! circuses

posted on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 11:30am
Haley Wilson's picture
Haley Wilson says:

animals deserve better

posted on Fri, 11/30/2007 - 10:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think you are right they are so cruel to the animals

posted on Wed, 10/29/2008 - 2:01am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 2:16pm
amber's picture
amber says:

i dont think animas should be put in circuses either. i feel really bad. someone commment me bak !

posted on Wed, 12/05/2007 - 12:54pm
BREEANNA's picture

I agree 100% with you its just wrong animal cruelty comment me back!!!

posted on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 9:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you should care for the the animals just because u dont get wipped and stuff

posted on Sat, 06/20/2009 - 10:06pm
Mikayla's picture
Mikayla says:

I think animals should left alone. they should be able to run free.

posted on Fri, 11/30/2007 - 1:30pm
Abigail's picture
Abigail says:

I think that animals should be left alone in there natural habitat. It's just rong to take them out of there home. I mean, how would you feal if someone took you out of your home? I would feal realy, realy sad! I'm just saying that you should leave the animals ALONE! I mean it!

posted on Fri, 11/30/2007 - 1:37pm
leo hyde's picture
leo hyde says:

free the animals man

posted on Wed, 12/05/2007 - 1:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I will never take my kids to the circus. I know elephants were not made to stand on their heads. There is nothing natural nor cute about it, it simply looks ridiculous

posted on Wed, 01/09/2008 - 12:31pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Tue, 02/12/2008 - 11:22pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I don't go to the circus now because of the animal cruelty I believe is happening. I would Definitely take the kids if there were NO animals.

posted on Wed, 01/09/2008 - 12:33pm
Rhii's picture
Rhii says:

i got homework for animals in circus. i gotta have against and for? but i cant find anything. could people comment back on this thanks. Rhii x

posted on Wed, 01/09/2008 - 1:56pm
ruby's picture
ruby says:

no they sould not u r so crul and selfish!!!
u have a life let them. i dont no how u could it is so crul i can see you dont care thow
becouse u r 2 selfish and i would take my 8 children if ther was no animals

posted on Mon, 01/14/2008 - 12:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think they SHOULD NOT use animals for their shows....i thinkthey should be able to run free rather than chained for 23 hours or so....its soo sad!!!!

posted on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 11:06am
JO's picture
JO says:


posted on Sun, 02/03/2008 - 7:49pm
Alice In Wonderland's picture
Alice In Wonderland says:

I personaly love the cirus but i dont think it is ok for wild animals like the elehanpts to be in the circus because it is just bad they should be roaming the outback.. Yeahh i said thats righttt PEACE :]

posted on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 11:13am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think its great tht we can see all these wonderful creatures from all around the work and that we all can enjoy all of Gods creatures. yes they are not in there natural habatate but many zoo's are getting much better at how they keep there animals and are getting colser and colser to a more natural habitate for them

posted on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 12:30pm
YSC Employee's picture
YSC Employee says:

Animal cruelty has been happening more and more worldwide. I believe that circuses should NOT be using animals to entertain audiences like that. Taking them out of their natural habitats to perform shows which they were not made to do is just plain wrong. Come on people, it's ethics. Training these animals to do these performances is just like concentration camps. Forcing people to do labor which they shouldn't HAVE to do. Think about it. And you may say, the difference with this example is that we're HUMANS and their asking about ANIMALS. All around, its the same things. Maybe they're not entitled to Human Rights, but circuses are and can definitely be amazing without the animal cruelty.

posted on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 5:24pm
Christina's picture
Christina says:

I think it is interesting how when it is cute animals, it is horrible, but if it is ugly animals, who cares! For example, the foods we eat, chicken, pigs, cow all live life in horrible conditions, being raised just to get fat so we can eat them... Iowa is known for it's pork industries, but have you ever driven through Iowa and see pigs out? Never, but you can smell them and see bigggg metal buildings were they live. Sad.

posted on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 1:38pm
Shannon .M.'s picture
Shannon .M. says:

I don't think that animals should be allowed circuses. I am doing a dabate at school about animals in circuses and I am on the Negative side. So I am against it!

Most of us see animals in the ring uncaged, unchained, maybe wearing a colourful costume with bright lights and music. But, we don't see them the other 23 hours or so a day when they are chained in darkness, denied the sunshine, proper food and freedom. Most circus animals are brutalised by their trainers Circuses are no life for wild animals like elephants, giraffes, tigers and lions. When they are not performing in the ring, most of these animals are imprisoned in small cages with no space for exercise.

There are also serious doubts about the training methods used. Many welfare campaigners believe that trainers can only teach animals to perform silly, degrading tricks by punishing them until they are too frightened to refuse.

The smaller the circus, the more despicable the conditions and unreliable the care given to the animals. The cruelty is mostly hidden. So is the animals' suffering. Circus promoters will vehemently deny any accusations of cruelty - the business would fold if the truth were admitted.

Animals in circuses lack any real legal protection. In the UK it is legal to use as much violent force as is deemed 'necessary' to make an animal obey, perform, learn a trick, or move. As long as the person stops beating the animal once it complies, it is legal. There are no legally enforceable standards for the welfare and care of circus animals. Consequently, the living conditions and safety standards of circuses are appalling.
all in the name of entertainment.

posted on Wed, 03/12/2008 - 6:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

If animals do really get hurt in the circus i think there should be a ban for animals in circuses.

posted on Sun, 04/13/2008 - 8:55pm
Cassy's picture
Cassy says:

I believe that animals should not perform in the circus because it is cruel and unnatural. They are kept in small, enclosed cages where they barely have enough room to breath.... It's just so cruel!

posted on Fri, 04/18/2008 - 8:59am
jackson's picture
jackson says:

i think circus animals should be banned it is cruel and they are not raised by thereown parants and its horrible to see poor animals being hurt like that. The sad thing is circus animals live and sleep in small cages.

posted on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 6:31am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

exactly! they are treated really badly they are cruel, inhuman and heartless to treat these creatures this way. god has not made animals for the purpose of entertainment but for beauty, or even some work but definitly not for people to beat them up and train them to do headstands and other ridiculous things like that!

posted on Thu, 02/19/2009 - 9:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I totally agree with you jackson. In circuses animals are abused and whipped and stuff. And they use cruel devices to teach animals tricks. Die circuses!

posted on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 8:55am
OMG's picture
OMG says:

OMG!!!! Those ELEPHANT are so CUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ^ . ^

posted on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 11:48am
Circus Hater!!!!!'s picture
Circus Hater!!!!! says:

I think it is absolutley horrible that they do this to animals I think they should be sued and should set the animals free! What horrible people I've been behind the scenes of the circus and it is HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!! I hate the circus with all my might and I think they are heartless people who should think about how they would feel if put in the animals position!!!!! I strongly think the circus should set the anmilas free they have PLENTY of other ats to entertain their audiences!

posted on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 11:23am
Annette's picture
Annette says:

i just watched some horrific videos of wild animals be beaten, wiped, verbally abused into doing, what these trianers want them to do. I've see the blood run on the concrete. The animals screaming in pain. Stand outside at the circus & fairs on short leaches shaking they're heads back and forth for hours. I cried, I cried so hard I had to stop watching for an hour. Then I researched this site. I need to know that these animal trainers are being punished for what they are doing. And if this is the only way, to train. Then it has to be stopped.
We wonder why animal in circuses attack, it because hey just can't take it anymore. And then they're shot...and put on the news as animals gone crazy...
What would you do if you knew these terrible things were going on. I think these people are cruel and alittle crazy to be able to do these horrific things to these animals. Lets clean house. Lets stop animal abuse...where ever it is, for the animals. Please, it just wrong.

posted on Tue, 08/05/2008 - 11:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I don't see how it's not obvious to everyone, that wild animals that are forced to "perform" for human amusement are miserable. Millions of years of evolution honed these creatures for survival in a natural environment. Circuses are a selfish, twisted form of human entertainment and are an abomination to the natural earth.

posted on Tue, 10/14/2008 - 11:15pm
Ryan hehir's picture
Ryan hehir says:

Why do you do this it is just cruel. Its not like they get payed you just think it is ok to smash them with sticks. How would you like it if you were cramped in small cages and smashed with iron poles!


Ryan hehir

posted on Tue, 10/28/2008 - 8:04pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ok people wild animals should NOT be kept in a circus but some of the animals in circus have been born in the circus and its all they no and are used to it. so it all depents on how they got there.

posted on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 10:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Unfortunately legal safeguards are not in place to protect animals in circuses. Although circuses and traveling shows must comply with the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the regulations are not specific or adequately enforced. Every major circus that uses animals has been cited for violating the minimal standards of care set forth in the Animal Welfare Act. Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which enforces the AWA) have repeatedly ignored obvious physical trauma to animals, eyewitness accounts of mistreatment, and sworn testimony from former circus employees who report mistreatment of elephants. In fact, the AWA does not prohibit the use of bullhooks.

Watching wild animals perform unnatural tricks does not teach our children respect or appreciation for animals. Circuses teach children that it's acceptable to exploit and mistreat animals for amusement.

Keep animals in the wild.

posted on Sun, 11/30/2008 - 11:11pm
emma's picture
emma says:

i think animals should be part of the circus becuase, the people that buy the tickects dont just wanna see clowns and stuff. They wanna see tigers,horses,lions,elephants etc doing tricks for there entertainment, and the animals get praise things like food or a pat or something so they know that they did good.
But i also think they shouldn't be in it because these animals are starved or beaten if they don't perform the trick right or act iresponsibiltlly on the night of the show or in the cage.

So im tied in this vote.

posted on Mon, 12/01/2008 - 12:37am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This is such a strong debate. I think that circuses are for entertainment and if the animals are being kept as pets (aka family members) and being taken care of then what is the harm. We have dogs do tricks every day and I am sure they wouldn't shake a paw without someone training them. Is that abuse? I also believe that if animals (any animals) are being mis-treated then they are not pets, they are abused creatures. The videos I have seen are all one sided and pieced together. Where are they from? Maybe a completely different country and culture. I think I would like more real proof, like veterinarians going in and checking them for injuries/malnutrition/abuse. I don't like to think anyone is being abused, but the fact is it happens to lots of animals and people every day and that is what we need to stop - with actual facts. Protests and demonstrations are good, as long as they are peaceful and factual.

posted on Thu, 05/13/2010 - 10:54pm
nahan's picture
nahan says:

it is cruel

posted on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:12am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

animals should be banned from a ciorcus its curelty and they are doing thnigs they dont want to and cant

posted on Wed, 03/04/2009 - 5:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you are cruel cold hearted people just in for the money !!!!

posted on Fri, 03/06/2009 - 4:47am
Zack's picture
Zack says:

the should be banned because the animals are trated badly and they also have feelings just like us

posted on Wed, 03/18/2009 - 7:30am
Thor's picture
Thor says:

A Washington, D.C., court yesterday heard arguments to stop elephant performances in the Ringling Brothers circus shows going on now at the capital city. Sounds like the judge is skeptical about getting courts involved in deciding what's humane for a circus performance.

posted on Thu, 03/19/2009 - 11:33am
ak's picture
ak says:

keeping animals out of cirucus is usuful to the natural balance...........they are happier .....sure.

posted on Mon, 04/06/2009 - 11:38am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Well, honestly, if animals would be removed from the circus would any of you go? That's sort of how they make their profit. I'm not justifying them because, yes hurting the animals is wrong. However, if they DON'T hurt the animals things could get out of control and a trainer could have a really bad injury, sometimes fatal.

posted on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 7:29pm
RADromy's picture
RADromy says:

SAY NOO!!to animals in circuses

posted on Sat, 06/20/2009 - 10:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I believe their could be a humane circus with animals that does NOT RENT animals from shady dealers should be a- reality circus where circus goers could look & watch the animals not only at the circus but as that are trained,eat or ride in their cages from town to town.A highly documented circus that can find a better way to represent the animals and guarantees their animals get down time also.
I think it could be done...

posted on Wed, 07/22/2009 - 6:55pm
tilli amoretti's picture
tilli amoretti says:

well i am also doing a debate on animals should be banned in the circus though i am on the negative side which means that i disagree with this. I do agree that animals should be banned but i have done some in research and i have found that torture in circuses is rare and when it does happen, it is publisized as something big. If we set the animlas from the circus out in the wild they would not be able to survive and would die because they have never experienced this environment. Also, when mistreatment does happen activists pounce and start rebellions against this even though it never happens and they turn a blind eye to caged chickens, tortured pigs and whipped to death horses. Think, would you rather live in fear of your life becasue there is a predator always watching you or live a life of pampered luxury????????????/

posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 1:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This is hurrendous KEEP THEM OUT OF THE CIRCUSES!!!!

posted on Tue, 02/02/2010 - 2:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

no circus animals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Wed, 03/03/2010 - 12:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

circus animals should be banned because they make endangered white tigers jump through rings of fire. IT'S NOT RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Fri, 03/19/2010 - 7:56am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Circus animals have to go days of abuse, they get shocked, beaten and killed, just so they can perform tricks. What if you were them? COMMENT!

posted on Fri, 03/19/2010 - 8:00am
Avelyn's picture
Avelyn says:

Animals are treated pretty badly at circuses and i see no reason for them to continue being hurt so people can have a good laugh >.<

posted on Mon, 03/29/2010 - 3:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I completely agree. I was just wondering is there a way for the circus to not mistreat animals and people can still have a good laugh??? I think that there must be someone out there that is smart enough to come up with a way!!

posted on Tue, 03/30/2010 - 9:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I know what u mean it is so unfair to them!!!

posted on Tue, 03/30/2010 - 9:36am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Most often, people who are unhappy about circus animals' treatment are unhappy about the training methods. The larger, more reputable circuses use B.F. Skinner's method of positive reinforcement. There are no punishments, only rewards in this system. It's pretty amazing, and based on Pavlov's experiments with his dogs.

Take a look at Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baily Circus' website. They've actually got an elephant sanctuary and zoologists on staff to study and care for these creatures.

posted on Tue, 03/30/2010 - 10:50am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Agreed. I have only seen loving interactions between animals and trainers at the Ringling.

posted on Thu, 05/13/2010 - 10:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

are yall serious?!?! animals should be kept int he circus. they are not ALL abused you act like every freakin circus abuses their animals!!! they are entertaing and from what ive seen "that happens backstage" is that the trainers have good relationships with there animals.

posted on Tue, 04/13/2010 - 8:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Circus without animals should be called by another name. I am totally against cruelty to animals, but as long as they are treated well and humanely there is no harm in having them perform in the circus. I am sure those who are making such a fuss about animals performing in circuses take delight in having their pet dogs perform tricks for their guests. Have they never asked "Fido" to fetch the ball for them.

posted on Tue, 04/13/2010 - 8:33pm
Holly W's picture
Holly W says:

Having animals in circuses is sooo cruel and should not be allowed. It is not entertainment it is animal cruelty. Dont support circuses that are not human performances.

posted on Thu, 04/29/2010 - 4:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i agree 100%! The trainers can be soooo cruel!!! :(

posted on Fri, 04/30/2010 - 10:24am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I agree that animals should not be used for circuses at harms them and can make them sick and I hope there will become a law about that in the future about that!!!

posted on Fri, 04/30/2010 - 10:49am
bella451001's picture

well i think that the animals should be made a part ov circus ... they provide entertainment but no harm should be caused to them they should be given good food and avoid harming them .... and it makes them to live a much luxurious(dont know what to say here) life as compared to zoo animals:)>

posted on Sat, 05/01/2010 - 5:15am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Having animals perform tricks in a circus is just another example of us using our superiority over the animal world. Just because there may not seem to be any cruel behavior going on, doesn't mean the animals are still enjoying themselves. Think what would it be like to switch places?

posted on Sun, 05/16/2010 - 10:10am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I don't think it is right, because it harms the animals.

posted on Mon, 05/17/2010 - 8:43am
Gina's picture
Gina says:

It is wrong because the animals will get harmed and hurt.

posted on Mon, 05/17/2010 - 8:44am
zain's picture
zain says:

i think elephent should be allow in circuss &there is not occur any harmfull things

posted on Wed, 05/19/2010 - 12:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think banning circus animals is a little extreme!
I understand that it seems a bit cruel to many people, but if we start here, then the next logical step has to be banning zoos all throughout the country.

posted on Sun, 05/23/2010 - 12:55pm
Anna's picture
Anna says:

Yes, lions, tigers ect. should not be used in circuses.
What about elephants, they are different. Many enjoy what they do and become bonded and attached to their owners and trainers. not all elephants are kept cruelly.
What if they were born in captivity and didn't know any better, for all you know they might be looked after and have a happy life...

posted on Thu, 08/19/2010 - 2:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think this is a crime, how would you feel if someone beat you to do something. I clearly think this is disgusting behavior

posted on Mon, 09/13/2010 - 10:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

they shouldent put animals in the circuses because
it isw crule and sad and they evan dont evan feel
sorry for them that is so stupid thats true so i would say get animals out of the circuses. get them out NOW OK THATS RIGHT.

posted on Thu, 09/16/2010 - 9:17pm
Angel Lornaa's picture

Animals should not be kept in a circus because they have a life and they do not want to be trapped in a tent for 23 - 24 hours a day..
they might over heat..
they might not get enough water/ food.
thats why i am against the idea of animals in a circus because its cruel..
how would you like it?

posted on Mon, 09/20/2010 - 6:02am
Sian 's picture
Sian says:

I think animals shouldnt be kept in a circus lockedup 23 hours a day its cruel.They should be were they belong,which is in a zoo not in a over-heated tent for godknows how long altogether.
They belong with there family and friends not people they hardly know especially people who whip and torment them till they bleed its wrong, sick-minded how could people do that
So please if you ever go to the circus ARGUE them .x

posted on Mon, 09/20/2010 - 6:04am
Anonymous!'s picture
Anonymous! says:

i think that they should put hidden cameras in circus to see what they do :) but i saw a good horse circus The Horseman From Snowy River they had nothing wrong as a horse owner i m proud

posted on Fri, 10/15/2010 - 3:45am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I don't mean to be rash but I think most people cruel and abusive as well as idiots. I'm all for the side of the animals. I feel god gave us animals as a gift, for the necessities of life not for entertainment or just for pretty much anything. I feel sad that people just can't see that it's morally wrong.

posted on Mon, 10/25/2010 - 5:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

its true it is not nice being lock in a cage and also always on the road. the people that are involved in the circus acts might like it but have they ever thought about wat the animals think?????

posted on Sun, 11/07/2010 - 3:45am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Hey I'm doing a debate about this and you guys have just given me a lot of points. THANKS!

posted on Sun, 11/14/2010 - 3:07am
nessie's picture
nessie says:


posted on Wed, 01/12/2011 - 11:10am
Patricia Hughes's picture
Patricia Hughes says:

The fact is, animals do not naturally ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire. To force them to perform these confusing and physically uncomfortable tricks, trainers use whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks, and other painful tools of the trade.

"The idea that it is funny to see wild animals coerced into acting like clumsy humans, or thrilling to see powerful beasts reduced to cringing cowards by a whipcracking trainer is primitive and medieval. It stems from the old idea that we are superior to other species and have the right to hold dominion over them."
- Dr. Desmond Morris, anthropologist, animal behaviorist, author

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus paints a picture of happy animals performing tricks because they like doing them. Consider the following, then decide whether that's true. Here are some of Ringling's frequent claims juxtaposed with the facts about the circus's treatment of animals:

Ringling: SAYS
Our training methods are based on continual interaction with our animals, touch and words of praise, and food rewards. SEE:

Video footage taken between 2001 and 2006 of Ringling trainers and handlers shows that elephants were aggressively hooked, lame elephants were forced to perform and travel, and a trainer inflicted a bloody bullhook wound behind an elephant's ear flap. Former Ringling employees that left the circus in 2006 and 2007 describe violent beatings as well as the routine abuse of elephants, horses, camels, and zebras.

Cruel Training:
For animals in circuses, there is no such thing as positive reinforcement, only varying degrees of punishment and deprivation. Animals do not voluntarily ride bicycles, stand on their heads, or jump through rings of fire. They don't perform these and other difficult tricks because they want to; they perform because they're afraid not to.

Circuses easily get away with routine abuse because no government agency monitors training sessions. Trainers use bullhooks, whips, sticks, electric prods, and other tools that intentionally cause pain and injury in order to force animals to perform. Undercover footage of behind-the-scenes training shows elephants beaten with bullhooks and shocked with electric prods, big cats dragged by heavy chains around their neck and hit with sticks, bears whacked and prodded with long poles, and chimpanzees kicked and hit with riding crops.

Constant Confinement:
Ringling Bros. boasts that its two units travel more than 25,000 miles as they tour across the country for 11 months each year. Constant travel means that animals are confined to boxcars and trailers for days at a time in extremely hot and cold weather, often without access to basic necessities, such as food, water, and veterinary care.

Some elephants spend almost their whole lives shackled. One study of traveling circuses observed an elephant who spent up to 96 percent of her time in chains. Tigers and lions usually live and travel in cages 4 feet high by 7 feet long by 7 feet wide, with two big cats crammed into a single cage. Big cats, bears, and primates are forced to eat, drink, sleep, defecate, and urinate in the same cramped cages.

Public Danger:
Frustrated by years of beatings, bullhooks, and shackles, some elephants snap. And when an elephant rebels against a trainer's physical dominance, trainers cannot protect themselves, let alone the public.

In 1994, an elephant killed her trainer and injured 12 spectators before being gunned down by almost 100 bullets while running terrified through downtown Honolulu. In 1992, officer Blayne Doyle had to shoot Janet, an elephant who charged out of the Great American Circus arena with five children on her back. In speaking before members of Congress about the dangers of elephant rampages, Doyle lamented, I have discovered, much to my alarm, that, once an elephant goes out of control, nothing can be done. It is not a predictable or preventable accident. The only thing that can be done and even this is a danger to the publi is to get a battery of police officers in with heavy weapons and gun the elephant down."

posted on Fri, 03/04/2011 - 1:24pm
Let animals go!!'s picture
Let animals go!! says:

OMG i don't even know how any living person could think that animal circuses are good and entertaining. It may be entertaining for you but the animals are probably petrified up on stage and they are being incredibly mistreated behind the stage. I can't believe Great Britain is still allowing poor animals to partake in these stupid circuses. I thought Great Britain was a free country!! There was an article in the news today (Daily Mail- Saturday 26th March 2011) and it was about this poor elephant and it was being tortured it was horrible. Even after that article the elephant is still in that circus because they think that it wants to stay there. It make me so angry, animals can't speak for themselves, why put them through this??


posted on Sat, 03/26/2011 - 7:46am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Iv just looked at and im cryign at the pictures. Its not right.

posted on Sun, 03/27/2011 - 7:37am
Who the heck LIKES animals in circuses? ITS WRONG!!!!!!!!!'s picture
Who the heck LIKES animals in circuses? ITS WRONG!!!!!!!!! says:

Animals in circuses is sooo mean i feel so so so sorry for them. they no freedom at all. Here you are sitting on your computer, having the freedom to run around go outside, have fun, and at this exact moment in time there are loads of animals cooped up in tiny cages, bored to death, hungry, sad miserable, scared, embarrassed. I don't think anybody has the right to even joke about this topic because it is incredibly cruel. It is animal cruelty without a doubt. Just think, right now an animal is so so sad.

posted on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 1:20pm
Newton C Braga's picture
Newton C Braga says:

Is it cruelty to have humans in circus? I think the problem is other.

posted on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 6:59pm
Renée Robey's picture
Renée Robey says:

I'm only 13 and even I can see that animals shouldn't be in circus's and that it is wrong!

posted on Fri, 07/01/2011 - 1:17pm
vagessha's picture
vagessha says:

i think it is very good not to have animals in circuses because there is a possibility that the time comes when these animals will harm us all because the way they are tamed is collecting anger inside them and one day it will blast and that is will be going to harm the ring masters the artists inside and the audience too so save the animals and be a happy being

posted on Sun, 07/17/2011 - 4:51am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

why would you want to be in a circus when they teat you so bad and they also get chaned there are so many stories that animals are being abused

posted on Sat, 11/12/2011 - 3:32pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

we all should not go to see the circus then there would be end of all this the circus will be not held if we will not go to see

posted on Mon, 12/19/2011 - 12:56pm
bartey's picture
bartey says:

animals deserve to have their own life.
we are not their boss.
they have the right to decide if they want to be in the circus or not!

posted on Sat, 05/26/2012 - 8:50am
Brendan's picture
Brendan says:

I have seen a shocking video courtesy of animal defenders international and I would like to say that a zoo or the wild should be a proper place for these miserable creatures. As far as I'm concern, that if they keep this cruelty up on animals, then I would have an animal welfare inspector to be thurough about the inspection while being undercover.

On top of that circuses like the ringling bros. should be under arrest for crimes of neglect and animal cruelty.

posted on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 11:29am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

animals should be banned in circuses because its cruel to the animals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
why don't you try parading around like a fool in front of a crowd then being caged up with no where bnear enough room

posted on Tue, 03/04/2014 - 5:30am
Suha ahmed's picture
Suha ahmed says:

Definitely keep animals OUT OF THE CIRCUS! Wild animals do not belong in hot, non-ventilated boxcars, or chained 23 hours a day, beaten with bullhooks until they bleed, or caged in quarters so small they can barely turn around. It's pitiful and I have documented the result of those bullhook "guides" (what a joke) on tape, not to mention the hundreds of others as well.

They were just here in Dallas and even one of the security people witnessed a beating during the day when there was no show. They cover up the abcesses and boils with Wonder Dust, a grey powder that blends in with their skin. I caught one on tape they forgot to cover inside the thigh of one of the elehants, and numerous lumps and bumps that were covered on every single elephant. The tool of torture, the "extention of the trainer's arm" they claim (my arm doesn't have a hook at the end, does yours?) is a standard across the board practice to keep elephants terrified and submissive. Electric prods are also used with them, but they don't leave wounds. Their lives are miserable. Only 23 of the elephants Ringling uses were born in captivity (their "conservation" program); the rest were captured from the wild and torn from their families. I cannot imagine a more cruel life. Plus, many of the elephants have a human strain of TB, totally antibiotic resistant, that endangers anyone who comes into close contact with them, like children riding them, workers (one of them died as a result of it already) and the people at the "preshow". There are more sophisticated ways to be entertained than watching wild animals be reduced to cowering creatures performing stupid and demeaning "tricks".

posted on Sat, 04/26/2014 - 11:14am
MJ12674's picture
MJ12674 says:

animals performing at the circus is too racist to do that, also its considered to be cruelty to animals, how would it feel if you in the circus.
do you like it? NO!!!!
dont go to the circus.

posted on Tue, 09/09/2014 - 2:17am

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