Jim Kershner’s March 30 “This day in history” column on news from 100 years ago: “Joseph Rudersdorf, manager of the Spokane Humane Society, was taking the lead on a plan to protect circus and vaudeville animals from neglect and cruelty. The national headquarters had endorsed his plan and was working with him on guidelines to promote better conditions.”
What a sad testament that virtually nothing has changed in the last 100 years concerning animals used and abused in circuses. The list of violations of the Animal Welfare Act as recorded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture goes on page after sad, head-shaking page.
Wild animals cannot defend themselves and do not deserve to be chained up or caged 23 hours a day, day after day, and that is not even touching on the standard, cruel methods used to get these beautiful animals to perform their tricks each night – tricks that frighten the animals, are unnatural and many times painful.
Once again, circus season is upon us. This is not 1914, and we need to step up and become the humane nation we profess to be. Support animal free circuses such as Cirque du Soleil and New Shanghai Circus.