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Huntington Considering an Animal Act Ban

July 07, 2002

Re "The Human Wrongs Behind Animal Rights," June 30:

I am writing in response to the letter from the former circus employee opposing the Huntington Beach City Council's decision to consider a ban on the exploitation of wild and exotic animals in circuses. Society is becoming more and more enlightened on this issue because circus animals live hideous lives, deprived of everything that is natural to them. Additionally, these animals can pose a threat to public safety. Consequently, many cities, counties and even countries around the world have passed legislation prohibiting this form of animal cruelty.

The attacks on "animal activists" also are disturbing. Just because a person opposes cruelty to animals does not make one a "terrorist." That word is particularly insulting and misdirected given the times. Those who support the capture of wild animals that are forced to tour the country in cages and perform stupid tricks for the amusement of humans are more closely aligned with "terrorist" mentality than those who oppose animal cruelty. The Huntington Beach City Council should be commended for its courage and intelligence.

Priscilla Gargalis

Canyon Lake

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I would like to commend the Huntington Beach City Council for having the foresight to consider banning circuses. There is absolutely no reason for animals to be exploited in this cruel way. The tricks that they are made to perform are not natural behaviors. They are beaten into the animals through the use of "terror tactics," including whips, tight collars, bull hooks and other abusive tools. There is plenty of documented evidence available to substantiate these claims.

Tigers do not willingly jump through hoops of fire; big cats are naturally terrified of fire. Elephants sometimes go berserk and kill people. Circuses without animals are the only good circuses; we do not learn anything by subjecting animals to perform acts for some people's amusement.

Many enlightened countries, including Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark and India, have banned circuses using animals. May we learn by their good example.

Maureen Shrubsole

Huntington Beach

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I think Shirley Carroll O'Connor lives in a dream world. Maybe she should go behind the scenes of a circus and see what is going on. It is sad to see a majestic animal like an elephant beaten into submission to make it stand on its head. Pushed by years of cruelty, animals often lash out against their captors. Let's make Huntington Beach a humane city.

Evelyn Oynebratten

Huntington Beach

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