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September 30, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Ringling Bros. animals are thriving
In their recent letter to the editor, Nancy and David Spilberg have their “facts” about Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey animal care all wrong. [“Northwest Voices: Here comes the circus,” seattletimes.com, Sept. 23.]
The claims they make are a direct affront to the men and women with Ringling Bros. who care for our animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it’s time we set the record straight.
Ringling Bros. has more than 143 years of experience caring for elephants, tigers and other exotic animals. We are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Spilbergs seem to echo claims made by other animal-rights activists, by demonizing approved elephant-husbandry tools that are humanely used by highly trained and experienced professionals.
All of the routines audiences see at Ringling Bros. are based on the animals’ natural behaviors (yes, elephants lie down, sit up and stand on their heads, I’ve seen it firsthand), and all of our animals are trained using only positive reinforcement, repetition and reward.
Everyone with Ringling Bros. hopes Greater Seattle-area families will come and see for themselves what we know to be true: that our animals are healthy and thriving in our care.
Stephen Payne, vice president of corporate communications, Feld Entertainment, Vienna, Va.
September 23, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Don’t promote animal cruelty
Here we go again. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey circus is coming to ShoWare Arena in Kent and the Comcast Arena at Everett in October.
Has no one read about the abuse that goes on in the circus toward wild animals, forcing them to perform?
This abuse is a widely-known fact and is publicized over and over again, and yet we, as a community, are allowing the circus to come to town. Come on, Washington!
Elephants are often ripped away from their mothers at a very young age and abused to force them into a frightened compliance. They are poked and prodded with bull hooks. The other wild animals are subjected to equally abusive means to force them to perform.
Is watching them “perform” really what we want to see, and want our children to see, knowing what we know?
Seattle is such a progressive community in so many other areas. Why is this an area in which Seattle is way behind other communities who stand for animal rights?
Let’s do something. Do not promote the circus coming to town. Not to Everett. Not to Kent. Not to anywhere in this state.
Set an example. Ban the circus. Promote circuses that do not use wild animals; for example, Cirque de Soleil.
Promote saving the wild animals used in circuses, and sending them to sanctuaries where they deserve to live out their lives. Be proactive, and set an example across the country and the world.
Nancy & David Spilberg, Bellevue
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