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Send In the Clowns

Posted on Jul 31, 2009

This endearing picture fails to show the widespread abuse of animals behind the scenes in Bolivian circuses.

The Bolivian government has outlawed the use of all animals, wild or domestic, in circuses. The ban was proposed after activists documented the widespread abuse of animals in circuses that operated in the country.

The Guardian:

Bolivia has enacted what animal rights activists are calling the world’s first ban on all animals in circuses.

A handful of other countries have banned the use of wild animals in circuses, but the Bolivian ban includes domestic animals as well.

The law, which states that the use of animals in circuses “constitutes an act of cruelty”, took effect on 1 July with operators given a year to comply, according to the bill’s sponsor, Ximena Flores.

The law was proposed after an undercover investigation by the nonprofit-making London-based group Animal Defenders International (ADI) found widespread abuse in circuses operating in Bolivia.

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By hippie4ever, August 2, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

When the Spanish first came to California they witnessed wild fauna living unconcerned next to natives peoples. A black bear might wander through without exciting any fear or notice. Simultaneously a village might have several deer munching unconcerned next to a group sitting down to eat. A Franciscan friar wrote about a complete absence of fear among animals, as well as social harmony among the peoples. Men were able to walk into a foraging flock of birds and they would not fly away; instead they continued to feed. People did not incarcerate their fellows.

Europeans “civilized” the West and simultaneously destroyed the environment, spreading fear into species formerly immune: now when a wild animal sees a human it hides or runs away, and with good reason. And sometimes they don’t even know the point of origin of the violence; for example, Sarah Palin killing wolves from helicopters flying overhead.

The problem with zoos is the wrong species always ends up behind bars. Purportedly zoos exist to educate but in reality they pander to the pleasures of a species itself captive to the evil forces of western civilization, especially Christianity and Capitalism. It makes some people feel better to have others in greater lockdown than themselves.

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By lovesallanimals, August 1, 2009 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People are getting PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) mixed up with animal terrorist groups such as ALF (Animal Liberation Front).  Just pick up an issues of the PETA magazine to see that they are anything but a “terrorist” organization.

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By Anarcissie, July 31, 2009 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment

‘Bolivia bans the use of ALL animals in Circuses??? That is the kind of legislation the radical animal rights groups like PETA promote. It has nothing to do with protecting animals from physical abuse….’

I don’t see why you say that.  Circuses abuse animals, apparently inevitably—a PETA infiltrator recently released extensive videos of animals being abused by Ringling Brothers etc., and there is now a lawsuit in progress to deny the circus the right to operate in New York City, where there are laws against such things.  It’s pretty funny to read local commentary on the matter in New York, because of course all right-thinking guys and gals hate PETA because they’re cranks and serious radicals, but in this case they have to admit PETA is right.  Every comment has to begin with an I-hate-PETA disclaimer and then agree that they were and are right and Something Must Be Done.  “Close ‘em down” seems like the way to go.  Maybe we’ve grown up enough not to need whipped tigers and bludgeoned elephants any more.

But anyway, what’s your plan?  How are you going stop the abuse?  Or doesn’t it matter to you?

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By Philip Ganchev, July 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment
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Xntrk, the law bans use of animals in *circuses*, so your comment about pets is irrelevant. So is the comment about animal flesh as food, although it would be a great thing if people stopped eating meat and fish - good for animal welfare, for human health, and for the environment. The overpopulation is usually caused by disturbance of the ecosystem and land encroachment by humans. Similarly, discarded pets are not addressed by the new law, although the problem is the over-breeding of pets for profit. More regulation in that regard is needed. Unfortunately, when you only have means to care for 500 pets, the most humane thing to do with the thousands of others is to euthenize them. The problems here are breeding of too many pets, lax laws about pet ownership and care, and a culture of indifference to animal suffering. Lastly, the acts of animal rights advocates that you mention, even if you disagree with them, are not related to cruelty to animals in circuses.

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By freepressmyass, July 31, 2009 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
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Bravo! Bolivia.

Hey Xntrk
This law has nothing to do with people keepig a pet or not prosecuting depraved pieces of shit who torture animals.
This law bans the use of performing animals. Period.

Quit distorting and going off the rails to trash the HSUS a well respected animal welfare organization that works tirelessly with a stubborn Congress to write legilsation that protects animals.

Andy ou may not like PETA but they are expert at calling attention to animal cruelty around the world.
The animal extremist accusations you make are straight from the corporations and their bought off mouthpieces. Trumping up false accusations of PETA’s vandalism and violence is a corporate tool so people like you think PETA are criminals and the corporate abusers are innocent victims.

It’s people like you who side with the abusers and blame the whistleblowers, that perpetuates the horrors and suffering taking place in the hands of   industrialized animal abusers.

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By Xntrk, July 31, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

I have not been commenting, but this misuse of Animal Abuse laws needs to be addressed.

Bolivia bans the use of ALL animals in Circuses??? That is the kind of legislation the radical animal rights groups like PETA promote. It has nothing to do with protecting animals from physical abuse, and everything to do with taking away the right of any one, in any country, to own or ‘use’ an animal.

This means you! Your pets, and the sources of most protein foods you eat, whether meat, poultry, or fish, would be outlawed if these people get their way. But, then what?

Will these animals simply go on their way unencumbered by humans, to do their own thing in the wild? Let’s get real. Think of the very obvious problem many communities face with feral cats, too many Bambis eating the roses, rats, and all the other creatures we share this planet with.

The solution to these many problems caused by discarded and displaced animals is not a ‘Humane’ relocation. Millions of acres have not been set aside as Animal Refuges, nor has food been set out for the poor starving creatures. No, we shoot them from helicopters, spread poisons across pasture lands, and trap them out to be killed at ‘shelters’

PETA itself operates a ‘shelter’ in Virginia, that has placed only 250 [approx] dogs and cats, while killing over 9000. Now, that is humane, and really exposes their true goals.

States and other local governments are being presented Animal Control Bills, written by HSUSA and PETA. These bills, like the one in Bolivia [Written by people in Britain!] do not address the real issues of animal cruelty and over population. Rather, they place onerous restrictions on all animal owners, whether commercial or private. These restrictions are not based on science or the problems faced in a specific community. Instead, they appeal to the emotions of the public, much like the Anti Abortionists do with their photos of dead fetuses.

Be aware of the goals of these Animal Rights Terrorists, who have killed and turned loose dogs at dog shows, including Westminster; attacked Biologists on college campuses; and harassed private citizens for owning pets. They do not want to see animals treated well, they want to see animals vanish. Their goal is to do away with animals, so the earth will be the domain of People, rather than a shared community of many animals, including humans.

Meanwhile, as a society, we ignore the real monsters among us like Michael Vick, or the kid in Florida who tortured and killed over 23 cats before being caught - and charged with a misdemeanor.

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