WHAT: Melha Shrine Circus Protest
WHERE: The Big E (Eastern States Exposition), Gate 1 entrance, West Springfield, MA
Directions - http://www.thebige.com/ese/aboutus/Directions.asp
WHEN: Thursday, April 26th, 5:00-6:30 & Saturday, April 28th, 12:00-2:00 Will only be cancelled if steady rain is predicted.
WHY: We are NOT protesting the Melha Shriners, but rather their support of animal cruelty. Yet again, they have hired Hamid Circus Co. (rents from Hawthorn Corporation, which has a long record of violations...see links) to supply elephants and tigers for the show. For 4 days these beautiful majestic creatures will be at the Big E, are terrified into doing stupid, humiliating acts for human "entertainment". Tigers will be forced to jump through a hoop of fire and elephants will be forced to balance on a ball. In addition, the stressed, exhausted elephants will be forced (with bullhooks, I'm sure) to give children rides inbetween shows.
On top of all these outrageously inhumane, unethical aspects, Hawthorn Corporation has violated the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) many times over the years (see links!). There is also a safety issue, as elephants in entertainment, especially those treated as poorly as Hamid's, can often go beserk, causing injuries and sometimes even death (see 3rd link).
Look under "Why ban exotic animals?" @ http://animalrights.about.com/od/animalsinentertainment/a/The-Traveling-Exotic-Animal-Protection-Act-Could-Ban-Circus-Animals.htm
http://ida.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?em_id=5361.0&printer_friendly=1 (scroll down to "what you can do" and TAKE ACTION!)
Other important things you can do to help end the Melha Shriner's support of animal cruelty:
Write a letter to the editor, urging people NOT to attend the Shrine Circus for the reasons mentioned above!
Urge the sponsors - http://www.melhashrinecircus.com/sponsor.html - to not support the Melha Shrine Circus again until it is animal-free.
Last, but not least, please send complaints to the Melha Shriners themselves, explaining how you refuse to support their organization until they exclude animals from future fundraising events. You may also want to mention how shocked you are that such a well-respected, well-intentioned civic organization participates in the abuse of elephants & tigers and endangers the public by exposing them to the risk of contact with elephants.
(413) 736-3647 - Melha Shriners' office (& circus office)
(413) 596-3122 - Melha Shriners' Potentate
*Signs and literature will be provided.
Hope to see you there! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
For the Animals,