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Friday, January 29, 1999 Published at 13:24 GMT


Call for circus animal ban

Many users are concerned about circus animals' living conditions

When it comes to seeing dancing elephants and balancing chimpanzees at the circus, the majority of BBC News Online users would give it a miss.

On Thursday BBC News Online's Talking Point asked if animals should be banned from the circus. The vote currently stands at 69% in favour, and 31% against. E-mails are still coming in from all over the world.

Click here for the latest reaction and voting result

Many people are astonished that animals were still used in circuses, like Tracy Irish from Columbia:

"I thought, as a civilised society we had banned such practice years ago!"

'Barbaric practice'

Saro Bakelmun of Canada wishes more people would boycott any entertainment involving animals and American Josh Atkins sees it simply as slavery.

He writes: "We don't enslave humans, why should we continue this barbaric practice?"

The majority of comments disagreed with wild animals being kept in an unnatural habitat and being made to perform uncharacteristic tricks.

David from the UK, remembers his childhood experiences at the circus:

"I always felt very sorry for the animals made to do tricks - they often seemed scared when the trick was difficult and sometimes in great discomfort."

However some users are unable to imagine a circus without animals, like Jim Russell from Scotland:

"At this rate there will be no live entertainment anywhere. Yes, Stop the offenders but what about the pleasures!"

'Valuable ambassadors'

Jan Scnupp from the USA also thinks it would be sad to ban animals altogether:

"Very well kept animals can become valuable ambassadors of their species, reminding us of the grace of creatures of the natural world."

The UK's Kate Alley thinks people like Mary Chipperfield give the whole industry a bad name, because "some circuses take great care of their animals".

Australian Tim O'Halloran has strong feelings about the woman this week convicted of animal cruelty:

"How someone like Mary Chipperfield is given charge of beautiful animals is beyond me, perhaps someone should take a riding crop to her every time she steps out of line. See how she likes it."

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28 Jan 99 | Talking Point
Should animals be banned from the circus?