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For Immediate Release: 02/12/08

Beastly Spectacles: circuses and rodeos to be banned in Santa Clara?

County ordinance would ban use of cruel tools on elephants and horses

Santa Clara, CA — An ordinance to prohibit rodeos and the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling shows and circuses, will be discussed by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, February 12, at 9:30 am. The ordinance will be presented by Supervisor Pete McHugh, and is sponsored by Defend Animals Silicon Valley and Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute (Born Free USA). The ordinance would also make it illegal to use, or be in the possession of, cruel training devices such as bullhooks, chains, bucking straps and electrical prods.

“Our civilization should have progressed beyond the point where we are amused by creatures who are stripped of their dignities and coerced to do demeaning acts on command,” says Alfredo Kuba, President, Defend Animals Silicon Valley. “Tormenting docile, domesticated animals with torturous devices for the sake of amusement is barbaric and it can not be justified for the sake of culture or tradition.”

Rodeos provoke tame animals into behavior that makes them appear to be fierce and aggressive. Various devices are used, such as bucking straps, spurs, and electric prods that inflict pain on the animals.

Meanwhile, performing wild animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, and bears endure years of physical and psychological suffering in traveling acts. The cruel training methods they endure and the tricks they are forced to perform are frightening, unnatural, and even painful. Animals in circuses spend about 11 months of the year traveling — most of that time they are either chained or kept in cramped cages.

“The proposed ordinance is a progressive measure to protect animals in circuses, traveling shows, and rodeos,” says Nicole Paquette, Esq., Senior Vice President of Born Free USA. “We applaud Santa Clara County for taking a proactive approach in protecting these animals and Supervisor McHugh for taking a stand against the needless cruelty inherent in this so-called ‘entertainment’.”

“Tuesday, February 12, could mark the beginning of the end for the beastly spectacle of animals being used in circuses and rodeos,” adds Paquette.

Defend Animals Silicon Valley is a non-profit animal protection organization dedicated to the advancement of laws to protect and respect all species.

Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute is a national non-profit animal advocacy organization working to conserve and protect wildlife in the US and globally. More information is available at www.bornfreeusa.org.

The meeting of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose, CA 95110


Alfredo Kuba, Defend Animals Silicon Valley, 650.965.8705
Zibby Wilder, Born Free USA, 916.267.7266

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