1. Write a letter to the school board, school
superintendents, PTAs and any other school organization that may
be involved in promoting a cruel circus.
2. Offer to meet with school officials or give
a presentation at a board or PTA meeting. Show them photos or videos
of the cruel treatment animals receive in the circus. Inform them
of any Animal Welfare Act violations the circus they support has
3. If further action is needed, create a petition
and get students and parents to sign it. Then present it to the
4. If your school board is stubborn, run for a
seat on the board! Your election platform: compassion.
SAMPLE LETTER TO SCHOOL BOARD
Name of recipient of letter
Title of recipient
Name of company or organization
Address of company or organization
Dear Sir or Madam [or their name if you know it]:
I am writing to ask the [name of school board]
Board to refuse to distribute free tickets, coupons, literature,
or any other material encouraging children and their families to
go to [name of circus] Circus.
The [name of circus] Circus uses animals in its
acts. Animals used in circuses always lead extremely stressful
and unnatural lives, and are usually severely beaten and otherwise
abused while they are being trained. Devices designed to stab, gouge,
slash, cut, bruise, shock, and burn animals are standard tools in
training circus animals. Because these are wild animals being taught
to perform difficult, unnatural, and often painful tricks, they
can never be trusted to perform. Because of this, trainers use tactics
that are meant to instill fear and establish dominance on all these
animals; these tactics are necessarily violent and abusive.
Circus animals are confined to tiny cages, railroad
cars, or trucks for up to 50 weeks each year. These enclosures are
barely large enough for the animal to turn around, and in the case
of elephants, the animals are chained for 24 hours a day. These
cages are often dirty, unprotected from the elements, and crowded.
Animals are purposely kept underfed and dehydrated, and it is not
uncommon for circus animals to die from these substandard conditions.
It is commonplace for circuses with animal acts
to receive multiple citations under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
This act provides only minimum protection to animals, such as requiring
that the animal has enough room to turn around, lay down, and stand
up, and that they are not left standing in their own waste. It does
not prohibit the use of any of the barbaric training devices and
methods used to train animals for every circus. Even so, these basic
standards provided by the AWA are routinely violated: [look up the
record of the particular circus in question, describe the citations
it has received, and provide statistics here statistics are
available at www.circuses.com].
Animal circuses and other travelling animal attractions
have been banned from many municipalities because of the danger
these events pose to humans. Circus animals and other captive 'exotic'
animals have been responsible for 132 deaths and hundreds more maulings
and injuries since 1990. A significant portion of the victims of
these attacks were children, and supporting this circus will help
this trend to continue. Circus animals are also known carriers of
diseases, particularly a human strain of tuberculosis, to which
children and the elderly are particularly susceptible. Perhaps more
important than the bodily danger circuses pose to children is the
psychological damage they can create. Child psychologists have emphasized
the importance of learning empathy for children. Events in which
animals are forced to perform demeaning tricks teach the opposite.
The humiliation that children would witness at the circus puts them
at risk of developing aberrant social values, of becoming callous
and detached. Alternatively, children might be traumatized by a
circus act in which they saw or perceived animal abuse. Acts such
as these are not uncommon.
I have [list involvement in school board activities
here: your children are in their schools, have been or will be in
their schools, you were in their schools, you were a PTA member,
you go to school board meetings, or you're simply concerned about
the welfare of children in your community]. It would be a grave
and dangerous mistake for the school board to sponsor such callous,
abusive, and dangerous activities, and I urge you and your organization
not to do so. More educational and compassionate programs to teach
children about animals are available, as are highly entertaining
all-human circuses. Thank you for your time and consideration.