Saturday, April 5, 2008

PETA hopes to stop Shrine Circus show coming to the city

Thunder Bay's Source - Friday, April 4, 2008
What bills itself as the 'Greatest Show on Earth' is expected to draw some protest when it stops in the city next month.

A local group is planning to take part in a national PETA campaign against the Shrine Circus and the use of animals in their shows and so far, over 120 members have joined a local Facebook group to 'fight the circus'. The Thunder Bay chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says its planning a protest calling for a ban on the use of animals in such shows.

Organizer Kelsi Bellin says she only expects numbers to increase and she along with a group of friends are planning to stop the local event that has been coming to town for generations.

She said on Friday ''we want to abolish all animal circus acts, there doesn't need to be animals in the circus.''

However Shriner Andy Anderson, also known as Wrinkles the Clown, says he has never seen the animals harmed in any way and Anderson has been clowning since 1948. He's not taking the group seriously adding there is no truth to what they are saying.

Anderson says every animal involved in the circus is treated with respect and is cared for so they can travel and perform.

Anderson says the circus has veterinarians that travel with them and animals are an important part of the show. The local stop has raised more than $80,000 each year for the Shriner's hospital for children.

The animal rights group will hold their protest outside of the Fort William Gardens on May 24 and 25 to coincide with the show.

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