Julie Grosso: Dane County supervisors should vote for elephant ban

Dear Editor: I would like to thank the Dane County supervisors for proposing the ban of elephant acts in Dane County-owned facilities. It’s time to end the long history of mistreatment of elephants in the circus. The circus gives the illusion that the animals are not suffering. The parents and their children who pay to go to the animal circus do not knowingly witness animal cruelty.

At the circus, I see soul-crushed arthritic elephants balancing on props and skipping to a musical beat of bullhook threats. The cruelties are in the training and how the elephants are treated after the show is over. When the parents and their children go home to sleep safe and sound in their warm beds, the elephants go back to their real lives in chains, on the road again, never free, to the next town where again, no one knowingly witnesses the animal cruelty. The circus will keep the elephants alive long enough to earn their keep, as long as the elephant doesn’t rebel against their life of almost total restraint, and kill their handlers or innocent spectators.

The constant stress that the elephants live in seems to be an accident waiting to happen. I’m asking the Dane County supervisors to make the wise decision to stop the exhibition of elephant acts in Dane County-owned facilities. This ban is long overdue.

Julie Grosso


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Julie Grosso: Dane County supervisors should vote for elephant ban.

Santa Ana Zoo ends elephant rides to keep its accreditation

Zoos know it is not safe to have elephants in close proximity to humans. yet the Zor Shrine Circus in Madison allows children to ride atop elephants every year. It is time to ban the use of elephants in circuses.

The AZA, which accredits the Santa Ana Zoo, changed it safety policies over the summer to require that zookeepers not share space with an elephant without a protective barrier between them, Mouet said. Since elephant rides involve direct contact between people and elephants, the rides must end for the Santa Ana Zoo to keep its accreditation, Mouet said.

Santa Ana Zoo ends elephant rides after protests | rides, zoo, santa – The Orange County Register.

John Kass: Wisconsin vs. Charlotte the deer, the worst Christmas story ever – chicagotribune.com

Many thanks to Chicago Tribune’s John Kass for reporting this story.

The worst Christmas story ever takes place in Wisconsin, starring Charlotte, the deer who thinks she’s a horse.

She runs with the horses. She teases them and tries to get them to chase her. She jumps one way, front legs stiff, tail up, then cuts the other way, taunting.

We met the other day, at a little farm in Lake Geneva, with rescued horses in a field. Charlotte looked at me for a long while.

Then she trotted over. She nibbled my jacket. She nuzzled my arm.

Now the state of Wisconsin wants to kill her, right before Christmas. There’s a hearing scheduled for next Wednesday. And the Walworth County district attorney’s office is threatening the man who rescued her, Marvin Graaf, 49, with up to eight months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Read full story here:

John Kass: Wisconsin vs. Charlotte the deer, the worst Christmas story ever – chicagotribune.com.

Recent WTMJ Newsradio reports that Walworth County Assistant District Attorney Haley Rea ((262) 741-7198) says they are close to finding a wildlife sanctuary for the deer to be placed.

Institute of Medicine Report Could Spell End of Chimpanzee Experiments

WASHINGTON—The Institute of Medicine today released a report that finds that chimpanzee experiments are not needed to develop an HIV vaccine, hepatitis C antiviral drugs, or treatments for a wide range of other human illnesses. The report underscores the need to end chimpanzee experimentation in the United States, the last nation on earth still conducting large-scale experiments on humankind’s closest genetic relatives.

Experts from the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) testified before the IOM during the seven-month report process, providing evidence on the scientific and ethical problems of chimpanzee use in invasive experiments.

The report, written by a panel of scientific and medical experts convened by the IOM on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences, says that most current use of chimpanzees for biomedical research is unnecessary. Regarding hepatitis C research, for example, the report says, “The committee finds that chimpanzees are not necessary for HCV antiviral drug discovery and development and does not foresee the future necessity of the chimpanzee model in this area.” Read full article here:

PCRM | Institute of Medicine Report Could Spell End of Chimpanzee Experiments.

Read about the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act here.

UPDATE: Decision on Elephants Postponed

Channel 15 news in Madison spoke with circus promoter Bob Sands. Watch full video here:

“We will have a Shrine Circus and it will be in Dane County whether we have to put a tent out at the Shrine Center or find somewhere else to put it,” said Bob Sands, the promotional director for Zor Shrine, shortly before the committee meeting Tuesday evening. “This proposal says on county owned facilities. We will have a Shrine Circus and we will have elephants.”

via UPDATE: Decision on Elephants Postponed.

Baby Elephants Tied Up and Electro-Shocked by Trainers

At last night’s Public Works and Transportation meeting circus promoter Bob Sands was quoted as saying,

“I don’t know how you mistreat an elephant other than starve them to death, and they’re certainly not going to do that.”

We realize these photos are not from the George Carden circus, with whom the Shriners contract, but these pictures are typical examples of how elephants are broken in order for them to be ready to face the public.

Sands also said that George Carden told him he treats his elephants better than he treats family members. Here you can see Carden’s record. See photos and read entire article here:

Ringling's Baby Elephants Tied Up and Electro-Shocked by Trainers | RinglingBeatsAnimals.com.