CHARLOTTETOWN—National animal law organization Animal Justice says that PEI’s tough new anti-circus laws have stopped a circus coming to Charlottetown this week from including animal acts.
Super Circus Spectacular is scheduled to do two shows at the Eastlink Centre on Thursday, June 21. According to a Facebook event listing for the Charlottetown tour stop, “energetic animals” were set to perform. When Charlottetown resident Hilary Wood messaged the circus to ask what animals they would bring, the circus responded that they would bring horses.
PEI cracked down on circus cruelty last year when the province passed the new Animal Welfare Act. Now, no exotic animals like elephants, bears, and tigers can be used. Only a small number of domestic animals like cats, dogs, horses, and some birds are still permitted, subject to strict conditions. Circuses must obtain a license 180 days in advance of a show, obtain extensive insurance coverage, and create and provide a detailed escape and recapture plan.
After complaints from Ms. Wood and Animal Justice, the provincial Department of Agriculture advised that Super Circus Spectacular does not have a circus license, and will not be allowed to engage in horse or other animal performances in Charlottetown this week.
“Forcing animals to perform for human entertainment is cruel, degrading, and incredibly outdated,” said Camille Labchuk, lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice. “Circuses around the world are closing down due to plummeting public interest, concerns over animal mistreatment, and the risk to public safety. PEI now has some of the toughest anti-circus legislation in the country, and this is our first chance to see it in action.”
Animal Justice will send inspectors to Super Circus Spectacular to ensure it does not attempt to include horses or other animals in its Charlottetown shows this week.
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