Georgia animal rights activists protest at circus

Animal rights activists in Columbus are protesting how a traveling circus treats it’s animals. Wednesday the Barnes and Bailey Brothers Circus was at the Columbus Civic Center. Several protestors gathered outside, urging people not to attend the show.

While the animals were getting ready for the big show, several protestors took a stand outside the Columbus Civic Center to warn circus-goers about what they call animal cruelty.

“Well, we’re talking about forcing them to perform unnatural tricks. Forcing cats to jump through firey hoops, forcing elephants to stand on balls, in order to get animals to do these tricks, they use whips and bull hooks,” said Alicia Schwartz, from the Animal Protection Institute.

The animal rights activists say circus animals, like elephants and tigers, should be in their natural habitat, and not constantly traveling. “They’re shackled all their life, they’re kept in cages, there’s no fair and humane way to treat that,” said Doug Moyerman, a protestor.

But under the big top, circus employees say they’re used to dealing with animal rights protestors. “They’re a bunch of kooks who should mind their own business. Go home and take care of their kids instead of having their kids stand out on the street with them like a bunch of idiots,” said Phillip Hendricks, a circus employee.

Phillip Hendricks says their animals enjoy the traveling, and they’re well taken care of. “The monkeys, dogs, tigers, same way you would treat them if they were yours. They’re our pride and joy, they’re our prized animals, we treat them like family members,” he said.

Some of the protestors say other cities have ordinances banning animal acts, and they want Columbus to pass a similar act.

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