Ban Wild-Animal Circuses From the City of Boston

Target: Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and City Councillors At-Large

Goal: Save circus elephants by implementing a wild-animal circus ban.

Wild-animal circuses are not natural environments for animals. They prevent elephants from forming social groups and developing the social bonds that are such an integral part of their natural lives.  Shackled in chains and confined to small-spaces that often do not meet the minimum space requirements as set forth by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, elephants endure physical and mental abuses tantamount to torture.

Elephants are revered by many as the most majestic and beautiful animal on the planet.  The largest terrestrial mammal on earth, their sheer size is awe inspiring enough, but it’s also their intelligence and extremely social nature that draws people to them.  In the wild, elephants establish matriarchal family groups to which they form very strong bonds.  They have been observed, both in captivity and in the wild, mourning their dead and caring for their injured.

Circus elephants, and other circus animals, endure needless suffering for the purpose of entertainment. The unnatural acts these animals are required to perform necessitate hours upon hours of training, which is where much of the mistreatment and misery begin. Bullhooks and other torturous instruments are used to beat, poke, and whip the animals.  Deprivation, in the way of withholding basic necessities like food and shelter, has also been used by circus staff to punish animals that are not performing well.  Many of these animals become chronically ill and suffer injuries from the abuses they incur, and also while attempting to perform the various tricks and spectacles for the show.

In fact, in 2011, the Ringling Brother’s Circus was fined and paid an unprecedented $270,000 for violating the Animal Welfare Act when it repeatedly forced an elephant to perform despite suffering from an untreated, chronic infection.  Ringling Brother’s has been under investigation by the USDA many times regarding the abuse and mistreatment of their circus animals.

By signing the petition below you will help urge the Mayor of Boston and Boston City Council members to implement an ordinance banning wild-animal circuses in Boston, Massachusetts.


Dear Mayor Menino and City Council Members At-Large,

Please help us to ban wild-animal circuses from the City of Boston.  As such a progressive city and a champion of many just causes, please continue the trend and set an example, be the voice of the voiceless. Show the state and our country that we will not support the needless abuse and torture of animals.  It is widely held that wild-animal circuses should be banned. In fact, the Humane Society of the United States, one of the leading animal welfare organizations in the country, is opposed to the use of wild animals in circuses entirely.

Circus animals are subject to cruel treatment for the sole purpose of entertainment.  They are abused and beaten by instruments like bullhooks and are confined to extremely small spaces for extended periods of time without adequate exercise or the opportunity to socialize as they would in their natural habitat. Some of these animals, including elephants, are endangered.

Despite many investigations opened by the USDA for violations against the Animal Welfare Act, many wild-animal circuses, including Ringling Brother’s, continue to harm their animals and neglect to care for them properly, even forcing them to perform despite chronic sickness or injuries.

Wild animal circuses are barbaric and it’s time that we do our part to stop them.  Please take action to prevent wild animal circuses from performing in the City of Boston.  In doing so, you send a message that is loud and clear “ We do not support or condone animal abuse.”


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit:  rjshiflet via Morgue File.

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  1. SUE GRIFFITHS says:

    Stop this abuse and neglect now. This is an unnatural way for wild animals to exist. (I won’t say live, because they are not living).I sincerely hope the Boston mayor and councillors will get off their butts and do something for these poor imprisoned animals.

  2. This is not entertainment, and we must not educate our children to believe that this obsolete and antiquated abuse of any animal is acceptable.

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