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The Syria Shriners recently brought elephants, tigers, camels, and other animals to the Pittsburgh Shrine Circus at the PPG Paints Arena, even though a local law bans the use of bullhooks—sharp steel-tipped weapons that resemble fireplace pokers—whips, electric prods, and other weapons used to train or control wild animals.
The Shriners are even trying to overturn the ban, essentially claiming that trainers should be allowed to beat, threaten, and intimidate exotic animals for human entertainment. Who could possibly oppose a law that protects animals from being hit, electroshocked, whipped, and beaten? Last year, the circus used elephants from the notoriously cruel Carson & Barnes Circus, whose trainers have been filmed using bullhooks and electric prods on elephants until they screamed.
Bullhooks or no bullhooks, no one should be imprisoned and forced to perform for anyone else's entertainment. That's why animal-exploiting circuses such as Ringling Bros. and Circus Pages have shut down, while modern circuses with only human performers, such as Kelly Miller and Cirque Italia, are thriving. Please use the form below to show the Shriners—and the PPG Paints Arena—that they can evolve and give their unwilling "performers" their freedom or else become obsolete.