Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters

 

Cruelty in the name of entertainment!

Animals Asia http://www.animalsasia.org/

Shanghai Animal Olympics - October 2006

As soon as Animals Asia received word of the disgusting Animal Olympics held in the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, AAF Executive Director, Annie Mather, immediately flew to Shanghai to investigate and document the appalling treatment.

The park is one of many such parks throughout China, which invent unusual and invariably cruel ways to attract more visitors. Normally empty during the week, they take the opportunity to increase revenue at weekends and public holidays, such as China's "Golden Week" holiday in early October. Shows like the "Animal Olympics" are an added attraction and tour buses filled with visitors looking for thrills pour in from provinces across China.

AAF documented several shows which incorporated cheetahs, lions, tigers, bears, macaques, poodles, a Golden Monkey, a chimpanzee, a zebra, a llama and an elephant performing various inane tricks to blaring pop music. Juvenile Moon Bears were forced to box each other violently in front of a screaming crowd and signs advertised kangaroo boxing. One can only imagine the constant stress and fear that all of these wild animals live under, not to mention the undoubtedly barbaric training methods that take place behind closed doors.

A popular source of revenue is the opportunity to have your photo taken with a wild animal for RMB10 Ė 20 (US$1.25 - 2.50). Animals included cheetahs, tigers, lion cubs, Brown Bears and Moon Bears, poodles, a Golden Monkey, a chimpanzee, a camel and an elephant (i.e. many of the same animals that also took part in the shows). The animals were cruelly chained up and often their mouths wired shut. Many were also barbarically declawed. Despite the park's efforts to control the animals, these photo taking opportunities are potentially very dangerous, as evidenced by the continual growling by the Brown Bear dressed in a blue sailor's suit. Annie also witnessed a Golden Monkey escape into the crowd during one of the shows.

All of the animals witnessed were in an inappropriate environment, unable to express even the most basic natural behaviour and under constant stress. The Moon Bears were forced to stand all day and clap their hands continuously and one poor blind Moon Bear was repeatedly jabbed with a metal stick every time he moved. As with many of the animals in the park, his spirit was completely broken.

With no legislation to protect wild or domestic animals in China, parks such as these continue to exploit animals for financial gain. Until there are laws there is little action that can be taken.

What we are doing

AAF is writing to the Mayor of Shanghai calling for the immediate cessation of these performances and the end of this yearly event once and for all. As a gesture of our concern and in an attempt to provide a solution for at least one of the miserable animals Annie saw, we are offering a permanent home at our Moon Bear Rescue Sanctuary in Chengdu for the poor blind bear made to pose for pictures. If our offer is accepted he will live with our other blind bears, Mityan and Snoopy in our special care area known as the "Secret Garden".  

Pitiful blind & declawed Moon Bear forced to stand & pose for pictures all day

Is Hamilton ready to ban animal acts?

The Hamilton Spectator Aug 26, 2010

Is the image of an elephant -- or other animal -- performing acts at the behest of handlers or trainers in a manufactured environment a socially beneficial one? Does the use of animals correlate to the image of a fair and just society? These are key questions we should be asking ourselves.

Concern about the use of animals is on the increase. Such concerns emanate from an awareness of the impacts on their person, and the way in which this shapes the perceptions of right and wrong among our children.

Such concerns motivated those who spoke out when the Shriners, officially known as the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, came to Hamilton in July. A significant number of people expressed concern, including many taking their children to see the show.

There is no doubt that the charitable activities of the Shriners benefit many. Unfortunately, these acts are situated at the junction of a disconnect between compassion for less fortunate people and children suffering from crippling disease, and the use of animals in their fundraising circuses.

The New Brunswick Shriners are aware of this. In 1997 they made the decision to stop using animal acts in their fundraising. Shriners in British Columbia followed their lead soon after. Shriners throughout Ontario and right across Canada can and should do the same.

Legislatively, the use of animals in circuses has been stopped in several countries. Municipalities across Canada are implementing similar bans. On July 1, a Marystown, NL, bylaw came into effect banning all circuses that use animals for entertainment purposes from operating within its boundaries.

Are the citizens of Hamilton ready to call on the Shriners to change their practices here? Who is ready to stand up and call on the City to pass a bylaw banning the use of animals in entertainment? Will it take another elephant speaking out, harming or killing its trainer, and many in the audience, before any changes are made?

To be concerned about the use of animals in circuses, to be outspoken, is not to be anti-Shriner or opposed to their charitable work. There are many indications that the money they raise has decreased as awareness of the plight of performing animals and the message this sends to our children has increased.

Moving to an all-human circus may reverse this trend and allow the Shriners to continue and increase their charitable endeavours. Re-emphasizing the clown focus of their circus will most certainly increase the pleasure and enjoyment of the children in the audience. This fits squarely with the Shriners' charitable focus. It also provides a more appropriate educational message to children.

More important than this positive educational message, moving to an all-human circus removes the psychological impacts on children of witnessing the use of fear and intimidation required for animals to perform. These are certainly not social values we want to expose our children to. We are all responsible to protect children from such exposure, and to explain why circuses should be animal free.

Seeking a fair and just society requires all of us to act. To draw from the prolific writings of Mohandas Gandhi, Albert Einstein and many others, we can measure our society, our manner of living, in the respect we show for all animals.

Dr. Colin Salter is with the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster University.

Comment: Speak out and take action against animal exploitation in the name of entertainment. Boycott all venues that showcase this archaic barbarism. Donít let a legacy of cruelty and conquest to continue. The animals need you to stand in solidarity with their suffering more than ever. The evil human race justifies the use of non-human species in the name of tradition, culture, religion, education, science, survival, economics, and more. Our dominion over those with no voice is beyond contempt. One day we will cease to exist, and that day cannot come soon enough. 

Read more: The Cruellest Show on Earth!; Vernon's bylaws; Mexico responds with new laws

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