Circus wrong for animals and wrong for Berkshires

To the editor:

As newcomers to the area, my husband and I are thoroughly enjoying the Berkshires. We love exploring the beauty and history and culture of the area. This past weekend, we enjoyed our first Pittsfield Fourth of July parade, a joyful celebration of music, dancing, and patriotism and an opportunity to honor and thank veterans and public servants. It was the best kind of entertainment.

Next week, a very different kind of entertainment will take place when the Lions Club brings the Zerbini circus to Dalton. This circus puts animals on display to entertain children and their parents. While it all looks like fun on the surface, there is a dark side to these performances. Methods used to train animals in traveling circuses inflict pain on animals and instill fear in them to get them to perform.

Even when adhering to legal standards, these practices are cruel. But the Zerbini circus has been cited by the USDA for violations regarding animal care. All animals in circuses suffer and it may be that those in the Zerbini circus suffer even more than most.

Members of the Dalton Lions Club are to be commended for their commitment to children in their community. But, with all that the Berkshires have to offer, there is simply no reason to seek entertainment through the use of sad and abused animals.

I would urge all Berkshire County citizens to boycott this event and I hope that the Lions Club will reconsider its decision to offer these kinds of performances.

Ginny Messina, Pittsfield