Last Saturday’s article on the circus: skewed, again. The Benton County Board of Commissioners was not “pressured” to create the ordinance banning wild animals in traveling shows. The board considered extensive amounts of information presented and took action based on facts; including two decades of verified USDA citations for Animal Welfare Act violations, testimonials from veterinarians and wildlife experts, tuberculosis transmission to humans from elephants, animals injuring people and damaging property, photos and videos of violent training methods and prolonged confinement and deprivation, including at the Benton County Fairgrounds in 2018, with tigers confined to small cages inside the dark transporter for more than 20 hours after traveling seven hours from Wenatchee, Washington. Corvallis was just one stop on the 12,000 mile circus route between January and June.

Investigations report tigers spending 75-99 percent of their lives in travel cages where they eat, defecate, urinate and sleep. Elephants are typically shackled by two legs and tightly surrounded with electric wire. Behavioral scientists explain the psychological dysfunction from constant travel, confinement, and sensory and social deprivation. Circus life deprives these intelligent, sentient beings of everything that makes them whole. These animals suffer greatly. Period. The only “change” has been access to USDA records. If only the newspaper would probe deeper, or read the materials provided to the board.

Instead, the newspaper provides free (and misleading) advertisement for the circus, thus perpetuating the suffering. We are grateful to our 2018 commissioners for joining over 100 jurisdictions to end the suffering. Now statewide bans are succeeding too!

Arlene Merems

Corvallis (March 31)

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