Should Animals be allowed to be used in the Circus any longer? Yea or Nay? Honk your horn below if you support Circus Protest in Cornwall Ontario !

CFN – Do you still go to the circus when it comes to town?  Is it still a buzz for you?   There are less circuses travelling and one of the reasons why are protests over treatment of animals such as the one that is coming to Cornwall, and touring Ontario.

Animal Circuses – Failing to Meet the “Five Freedoms” of Animal Welfare

What:  Outreach Demo against the Shrine Circus/Tarzan-Zerbini Productions

When: August 14th,  6:00PM

Where:   Cornwall Civic Complex, 100 Water Street East

Why:  Animal circuses cannot possibly meet the criteria for good animal welfare, and must be stopped.

The “Five Freedoms” are:

-Freedom from hunger and thirst
-Freedom from discomfort
-Freedom from pain, injury or disease
-Freedom to express normal behaviour
-Freedom from fear and distress

The circus hosted by the Shriners and presented by the Tarzan-Zerbini circus may be ensuring that the animals are free from hunger and thirst, however, they cannot possibly meet the other freedoms.  

Science indeed shows us that circus animals suffer due to being in captivity and from being transported from location to location.  The animals in this particular circus travel up to 35,000km per year, every single year.  

Marie, one of their elephants, who is 39 years old, has been in this specific circus for 33 years.  That is over 1 million kilometres that this one animal alone has had to endure, in a truck, in shackles, in electrified enclosures, on cement, and in a large tent with music blaring and people cheering, clapping and whistling.    

Domestic animals such as horses also suffer under the conditions in a circus.  Transport is a stressful experience for horses, having been shown to increase cortisol levels, and to compromise immune systems.  

The animals are not able to express normal behaviour for any significant amount of time, given that they do not have the freedom to roam the way they would in ideal conditions.  For example, elephants in the wild can roam up to 50km per day, something that is impossible for a circus to provide.  The animals are kept under control with bullhooks and whips, with video evidence available from this year’s circus in Toronto.  

Officials with the Tarzan-Zerbini circus have tried to claim that they have a stellar record, however the only factual thing they can say is that they have never been charged with animal cruelty.  This is because it is currently legal to use bullhooks and whips.  This is because it is legal to transport animals the way circuses do.  It is legal to deprive elephants and other animals of their normal behaviours.  Tarzan-Zerbini has been cited numerous times under the Animal Welfare Act (U.S.) and does not have an excellent record.  


The activists seen at circus outreach demos may be a small group, however we represent a majority.  The majority of people do NOT support animal circuses, nor do any of the Humane Societies.  More and more countries have banned circuses with animals, such as Greece, China and Peru, and legislation is currently being considered by the Governments of the USA, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.  And based on the fact that this specific circus has cut out 2 shows in Kingston and Cornwall and did not have shows in Petawawa or Pembroke this year, attendance does appear to be dropping.

Michele Thorn, one of these circus protesters even was bumped when she refused to leave a circus set up recently in Ottawa.  (Yes that same circus that’s coming to Cornwall)

So do you support the protesters?  Have the days of the Circus with Animals come to an end? Do we really need to see bears pedal bicycles?  Or will you be lining up for a front row seat?

You can post your comments below.



  1. Nay! I stopped supporting the circus way back. My final circus was right here in Cornwall, when I watched them giving out elephant rides on an elephant that clearly had a very sore leg. The poor thing could barely walk, and they were putting people on for rides. The animal was limping so badly that it looked as though it’s riders may be thrown off. It was horrible to watch and rather terrifying.

  2. I don’t think animals should be used for circus’ because it’s just causing the animals to undergo a lot of stress. They’re constantly doing the same stuff over and over just to get one part perfect, more likely to become injured due to the lack of concern of health/safety of these animals and and when they’re travelling they don’t exactly get proper sleep/relaxation.
    “Do you still go to the circus when it comes to town? Is it still a buzz for you?” – Nope, I don’t go circus’, and I’m a huge animal lover but when it comes down to the animals being treated poorly then I simply have absolutely no interest what so ever.

  3. How we treat animals is a fundamental question our society should be addressing in a much more proactive manner. Elephants are not indigenous to North America, they only purpose is to be used for a traditional ideal of human pleasure. It’s really a distorted and sickening way to treat a creature who is as intelligent and socially dependent as are elephants. The fact that the circus is still welcomed in Cornwall proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that this city is stuck in some kind of time warp, unable to break the spell of a bygone age when we were completely unconscious of our impact and actions. Teaching a new generation of children that using instruments of torture on these animals is a good way to pass time and entertain yourself is a sign of a lack of education their parents have received. Children who cheer elephant torture disguised as fun are going to turn around and do something awful to the puppy or kitten they come across and they won’t understand the difference. We really need to think what we are teaching our children.

    If anyone wants to see a place that has been created to give these elephant performers a good life in their retirement please visit this site:

  4. I personally do not find the circus interesting or entertaining, and am uncomfortable with animals being used for any human entertainment or profit i.e.) including horse racing. However, it doesn’t mean the animals are necessarily mistreated or unhappy. This sort of story needs balanced information – maybe from zoologists, biologists or animal behaviourists – and not just the views of the protestors.

  5. I attended the Circus last night and my 2 and half year old loved it! It was her second cricus and although it was no Cirque du Soleil it was to raise money for charity!

    The most uncomfortable thing witnessed at the Circus was watching everyone cram into the most uncomfortable seats in S.D. & G………..maybe not as uncomfortable as a Cornwall City Councillors seat however…lol!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  6. “How we treat animals is a fundamental question our society should be addressing in a much more proactive manner”. How about the fundamental rights of the unborn? Silence?

  7. i do not support any circus that uses/exploits animals, exotic or otherwise, for the purpose of entertainment. we should get over ourselves and accept that it is wrong , we should seek alternatives to entertain ourselves. it is our duty to protect animals who cannot speak for themselves.
    an organization cannot hide behind children to justify their financial exploits, although they will try.

  8. I don’t like the circus and would not fork over one red cent to the circus. I also don’t like to see animals in shopping malls, being sold on Kijiji and pet shops. The way we treat animals is indicative of how we treat other less powerful members of society. To the pastor: The issue of the right of the unborn child is a complex one that must also take into account the rights of women to have dominion over their bodies. Perhaps when access to good (and safe) childcare arrives, safe and effective birth control and the elimination of sexual assault and sexual coercion of women halts – the issue of abortion will vanish. That being said, the original question was about the circus and not the rights of the unborn child.

    Kind regards

  9. Even when he makes my hair stands on end, Pastor Newton is an essential and welcome voice in our discussions.

    Abortion? I’m pro-choice. But I’m not pro-STUPID or pro-arrogant. Many women (in the West) make a mockery of this hard-won right for their own selfishness. They don’t know what women have suffered in the past.

    And today? Try living in several African countries where there’s the myth that AIDS can be cured by having sex with a virgin. (Yes, that includes infants.) Do you think these women have access to abortion? Forget it.

  10. Author

    I just keep trying to get Tom to start an abortion topic instead of creating tangents in others 🙂

  11. “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

    Mahatma Gandhi

    I think it’s time animals be removed from the circus.

  12. If I use my imagination – not being a religious person – a man or woman of the cloth should walk among the people and bring these topics up whether they seem fit or not because everything in existence is interwoven. It may be an idea we’ve lost an sight of because today, knowledge is categorized, specialized and fragmented into silos: science, art, business, finance, religion etc. In the end, we can have a sense of meaninglessness because it’s akin to the tower of babble.

  13. Go Tom Go!!!! Let’s give the English/French battle a rest and get on to important stuff like fiery lakes and such.

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