DawnWatch: USA Today front page on Ringling Bros 6/7/06

June 8th, 2006 8:51 am by Kelly Garbato

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From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch [dot] com
Date: Jun 7, 2006 3:10 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: USA Today front page on Ringling Bros 6/7/06

The Wednesday, June 7 edition of USA Today has a big, light, front page story about changes at the Ringling Bros circus, headed, “Circus gets a makeover; In Hip-hop, a ringmistress Out Lions, tigers, the 3 rings.”

Ringling has changed the style of its circus, dropping the three rings. The article tells us:

“Circuses of all sizes and stripes are straining to meet the fractured attention spans of the iPod generation. They’re also reflecting the influence of Cirque du Soleil, the hugely popular Canadian acrobatic troupe that is expected to draw 7 million people this year with its modern mix of music, street art and multicultural flair.”

The influence of Cirque du Soleil, which uses no wild performers, is welcome news.

We read, “The new show has elephants, but it does not have the big cats — lions and tigers — associated with a Ringling circus.”

And we read that the changes may be because members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, “routinely picket circus performances, claiming animals are treated cruelly. Animal welfare groups sued Ringling in 2000, alleging that the rigors of circus life violate the Endangered Species Act, which covers the Asian elephant. Legal maneuvers continue.”

A circus historian is quoted: “The show is under considerable pressure from animal rights activists, and everything they do speaks to the fact that they’re responding.”

Unfortunately that is all the article says with regard to cruelty — that PETA and others have made claims and filed a suit. A recent DawnWatch alert spelled out the horrifying incidents behind the suit against Ringling, and shared footage of a baby elephant drowning as he was beaten with a bullhook by a Ringling trainer. If you missed that alert, you will find it on line at: http://tinyurl.com/fbojp

You’ll find the USA Today front page story on line at http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-06-06-circus_x.htm

Please respond with letters in favor of changes at circuses that include dropping all of the wild animal acts.

USA Today takes letters at http://asp.usatoday.com/marketing/feedback/feedback-online.aspx?type=18 or http://tinyurl.com/cee7y

For more information on what circus life is like for the animals, check out www.Circuses.com

When sending letters to the editor, please be careful not to use any exact phrases of mine or other list-owners or to refer to websites I have recommended as good sources of information. Papers will avoid publishing letters that appear to be part of a campaign. And please send letters to your local paper, when the circus comes to your town.

Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor. Shorter letters are more likely to be published.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. To unsubscribe, go to http://www.dawnwatch.com/cgi-bin/dada/dawnwatch_unsubscribe.cgi
If you forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts, please do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this tag line.)

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