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
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.