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Analysis of Animal Treatment in Circus Essay

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Animals have been a main focus in circus performances around the world for many centuries; however, in recent history, there have been far more regulations put on the use of these creatures, stemming mainly from how they are treated by both their trainers and the circus as a whole. Whether it be on the federal or local and state-level, there has been a definite increase in the questionable legality of America’s circus industry due to the neglect and abuse of the participating animals, courts’ decisions highlighting the true importance of the issue. These rulings make one ask the question: What types of regulations could be put in place in all circuses to ensure that the animals involved are not abused in the process? In the end, many different species of animals play an integral role in the circus industry of America, and they all have their own needs, including specific diets and living conditions. Ultimately, though there is already some legislation in place regarding the involvement and treatment of these animals in this business, it is not enough to fully protect their rights, and, more importantly, their health.
Multiple types of animals are used as entertainment in the circus industry, each of which require a specific treatment. When one imagines the circus, one visualizes tigers, lions, monkeys, bears, and, of course, elephants. In addition to the differences in the appearance of these animals, their diets are also in no way identical. Tigers and lions in the wild have a carnivorous diet. As reported by Defenders of Wildlife, tigers “mainly eat ambar deer, wild pigs, water buffalo and antelope,” while lions “consume a wide variety of prey, from wildebeest, impala, zebra, giraffe, buffalo and wild hogs to sometimes...


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...ive enough, which is not helped by the poor execution of the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. There are endless stories which prove this statement to be true, including the tragic death of Benjamin and the injuries suffered by Angelica and Doc. It is important to educate oneself of the conditions to which circus animals are subjected because it is the only way that the American people as a whole can begin to reform our laws to work to fully protect these animals. Whether the United States needs to ban the use of animals in the circus nearly all together as Finland has, or simply keep a closer eye on their involvement and treatment by following in the footsteps of Italy and Belgium, a change does indubitably need to be seen in order to ensure that all animals involved in the circus industry of America are not abused simply for our mere, selfish entertainment.


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