- Associated Press - Sunday, November 12, 2017

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (AP) - The circus has come to Lake Havasu City - and animals rights activists showed up with picket signs and slogans outside of the Arizona event.

The protesters wanted to draw attention to the condition of animals at the Havasu Shrine Circus, Today’s News Herald reported .

Protesters also cited online videos of animal rights abuses by circus organizations worldwide in their efforts to force animals to perform.

Ringmaster Ariel Steeples disputed allegations against the Havasu Shrine Circus.

“There’s good and bad in everything,” Steeples said. “Much of the footage they’ve shown of abuse has been from circuses overseas. All of the animals in this circus are well taken-care-of, and are inspected every month by vets.”

The protest follows the submission of a 2017 Kingman municipal resolution in which the city would resolve to uphold the ethical and humane treatment of animals.

Havasu resident and protester Carolyn Long says animals in many circuses spend most of their lives in cramped cages with barely enough room to turn around.

“The elephants are kept in electrified pens and are chained in the trucks while traveling,” she added. “We shouldn’t be treating the most magnificent animals on Earth in this manner. It’s unconscionable.”

The Jordan World Circus works with the Shriners Club to provide the circus each year and also contracts with other organizations that provide and maintain the animals that perform in its circus events.

The Federal Animal Welfare Act of 1966 expressly forbids the use of physical abuse in training or handling animals; and the handling of those animals must not cause trauma, overheating, excessive cooling, behavioral stress or unnecessary physical discomfort.


Information from: Today’s News-Herald, http://www.havasunews.com

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