City Council decision severs amazing bond

To the editor:

Once again, animal rights groups have advanced their radical agenda by distorting the care provided to animals in the circus. The recent Pittsfield City Council decision to ban all circuses with animals will actually do nothing to improve animal welfare. Rather than inspect circuses that come to town to ensure animal welfare standards are met, the prohibition will only deny area families a chance to see the amazing bond that exists between animals and humans that can only be found at the circus.

The recent transition of our elephants from the Ringling Bros. touring circuses to our Center for Elephant Conservation did not change our commitment to providing the very best of care for our tigers, lions, horses — in fact, all the animals touring with The Greatest Show On Earth. We meet or exceed every local, state and federal animal welfare regulation and are very proud of our animal care and conservation programs.

Rather than take what animal rights activists claim at face value, the City Council and the public would have been better served by learning from those who actually spend their lives caring for animals as opposed to the claims made by extremist groups who have no real animal care knowledge, only a political agenda. The Pittsfield City Council's decision was a mistake that can only be rectified when circus fans everywhere make their voices heard.


Stephen Payne, Vienna, Virginia The writer is vice president, corporate communications, Feld Entertainment (parent company of Ringling Bros. Circus).