The circus is in town this long weekend, and as preparations for the show get underway, what’s going on underneath the big top isn’t without controversy.
The treatment of animals in circuses has long been a controversial topic.
However, organizers with the Royal Canadian Circus, which is touring parts of Alberta this week, says they exceed standards when it comes to how they treat their animals.
The Royal Canadian says they care for all the animals, and don’t believe they should be hurt during any form of training, further insisting the elephants enjoy the social atmosphere of entertaining.
“What we ask our animals to do is nothing they wouldn’t do in the wild. There isn’t one trick you’ll ever see that is something not their nature to do. We just teach them to do it on cue, and complimentary to the performance,” says Larry Solheim, Royal Canadian Circus.
However, there are those who don’t agree with the use of animals in circuses.
Animal Defenders International has successfully stopped the use of animals in circuses in Bolivia and Peru, but say it’s been challenging here in Canada, calling our animal welfare laws ‘pitiful’.
“These elephants are trying to get onto this little tub, then she had them on a tiny rotating stool with one leg. Elephants don’t do that,” says Carol Tracey, Animal Defenders International.
The people with the Royal Canadian Circus say they shouldn’t be judged based on what other circuses do.
The circus runs this weekend in the parking lot at the Crossroads Furniture Market.