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Circus Action Guide

  • Don't Go! If a circus that uses animals is coming to town, do not patronize it, and tell friends and family to do the same.
  • Contact circus sponsors and pressure them to withdraw their support. See APNM's tips and sample letters for contacting circus sponsors.
  • Circus promoters often use schools and school districts as an advertising ground. Counteract these efforts by talking to and educating school officials about the cruelty of circuses to animals and the risks to people. Aside from bodily danger, the risk of psychological damage to children is very real; children may be desensitized to the suffering and ridicule of other creatures, or might be traumatized if they see actual abuse. See APNM's tips and sample letters for contacting schools.
  • Get the word out! Distribute or display bumper stickers, posters, buttons, and flyers. See Resources or Contact APNM to find out how you can get some. Or make your own.
  • Talk to the media-call your local newspaper and television reporters; write letters to the editor. See our sample letters to the editor. Or buy advertisement space in your local paper to expose circus cruelty. You can get ready-made advertisements from several organizations (see Resources) or make your own.
  • Find out whether the circus in your town has ever been cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and use this information to argue against the circus. Look for violation summaries in our Who's Coming to Town section.
  • Be a watchdog! Once the circus has come to town, add the recording of animals being unloaded to your efforts. Look for signs such as submissive urination, saddle sores, punctures, raw skin, or other wounds, elephants sleeping during the day or lying on their sides, rusty or dirty enclosures, repetitive movements or other manifestations of stress, any other signs of illness or injury, or anything else that seems suspicious. If you do see and/or record these signs, contact the USDA immediately and ask for an inspector. (You can get a "circus checklist" from circuses.com)
  • Speak out! Participate in-or better yet, help organize, a demonstration or leafleting during each circus performance. Contact APNM for assistance or to learn if a demo is already being organized.
  • Go to one of the humane and exciting all-human circuses such as Cirque du Soleil, Circus Chimera, or One Railroad Circus. Help support these compassionate acts by writing a letter to the editor and spreading their word of their arrival throughout your community. See our list of the all-human(e) circuses and sample letters to the editor.






City Won’t Rent Space in Center to Circus, Albuquerque Journal, July 25, 2003
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Animal Protection of New Mexico, Inc. (APNM)
P.O. Box 11395, Albuquerque, NM 87192
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