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Animal abuse in circuses - Essay Example

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Course Date Animal cruelty Animal cruelty is an issue of serious concern especially when it comes to circuses and zoos due to the poor treatment that animals receive. As a result, it is crucial to understand the sufferings that the animals undergo, the welfare measures used by circuses and zoos, as well as how animals should not face the unethical conduct of trainers…
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Animal abuse in circuses
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Animal abuse in circuses

Download file to see previous pages... The conditions that the circus animals face are such that animals would wish to escape from it, despite their colorful performances. Animals face cruelty and abuse mainly in three forms in the circuses, which may be familiar to those of zoos. The first is the captivity life where animals in circuses are annexed from their natural habitat, to live a life of travelling with the circus staff. Due to the captive life, the animals are in constant travel translating into poor nutrition and veterinary care meaning that their basic needs are rarely met as opposed to the conditions they would face in the wild fending for themselves. Circus staff are often under the misconception that they are doing the animals a favor by providing food for them, where all the animals have to do is perform a couple of tricks and receive a token of food. Animals used in circuses are normally big and do not have enough space to run and walk around freely as is customary, in their natural habitat. As such, they spend most of their lives in cramped spaces that are barren (Zelman 1). This is to mean that the animals, once released into the wild; cannot survive as their survival instincts are wiped off by captivity. Survival instincts in captivity involve dependence on rations handed out by humans, especially warders and zoo keepers, whereas in the wild they are supposed to fend for themselves. This is just one of the many ways in which animals suffer due to the ignorance of the public and the little that the said humans due to save them from the agony, rather than draw entertainment from them. They also suffer in captivity due to lack of physical contact with others, especially for highly social animals such as chimpanzees. During the off season, when there are no performances, circus animals are usually kept in barns stalls and some in vehicles, which has severe consequences to their mental and psychological wellbeing. In turn, their discomfort translates into unnatural forms of behavior that does not manifest itself in their natural environment. The second form of animal cruelty the beating they receive in order to submit to their trainers. This is because the standard form of training and securing compliance in performances by animals is using physical punishment. Animals in circuses are forced to perform tricks that they do not understand and in which conventional behavior and characteristics do not allow. The animals are repeatedly whipped and subjected to electric shock in order to make them manageable. In addition, to make them manageable, some circuses remove the teeth, horns, and claws of some of the animals to eliminate the risk of harm in training sessions (PETA a 6). Animals are treated to mental bull hooks, especially elephants, which are buried into the flesh and twisted until the animals scream in pain while other circus trainers use blowtorches to remove hair (PETA b). Bull hooks are especially used on elephants, where they are repeatedly hit on their sensitive parts with utter disregard for the safety and wellbeing of the animals, but rather focus on compliance. In addition, animals with manifested signs of distress due to abuse are often locked up or tied up to avoid incidences of showdowns between uncontrollable animals and trainers. The third form of abuse that animals face in the circuses is how animal handlers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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