Banning Travel Animal Acts in Prince William County
While I am working on getting a ban on traveling animal acts passed in Fairfax County (see here), I am also working with local activists to ban them in Prince William County. PWC is the second most populated county in Virginia. This county is a prime location for animal abusers, especially given recent victories for animals.
While the circus that goes into Washington DC, Universoul Circus, FINALLY gave up on their animal acts, there is still one major circus left in the US that uses them. Shrine Circus has many “branches” of various smaller circuses that work for them. One of these branches goes into PWC. This circus uses primarily domesticated animals, such as camels, dogs, horses, and ponies, but is known to also use wild animals, such as lions, tigers, bears, and elephants. They borrow the wild animals from other circuses, as Shrine Circus “rents out” the wild animals to the various branches throughout the year. They do not bring the wild animal acts to PWC (so far at least), but the animals they do bring suffer.
Fairfax County used to have Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus perform in their county, but after PETA managed to shut them down for abuse, they are now returning without animal acts. If they return to Fairfax county it is unlikely other circuses will. A circus in DC and then Ringling Bros so close, it wouldn’t make sense for a third circus to pop in.
So, PWC is being used by this third circus.
PWC is also a host for many rodeos, seal shows, and other disturbing traveling animal acts. These cruelties must be stopped.
Working with the animal rights organization, Lady Freethinker, as well as locals in the county, I hope to help push for a ban on traveling animal acts. Many cities, counties, and even countries have banned animal circuses, rodeos, and wild animal acts. And if we are successful in getting this law made, it will push for other counties and even the state of Virginia to ban these disgusting acts.
PWC is a main target for me due to the newly elected county chair lady. Deshundra Jefferson started her campaign in early 2023, and when I reached out to her she made it clear she was against animal circuses, rodeos, horse carriages, and other abusive industries. She just won the election, so the chance of getting this ban passed in PWC is higher than in other local counties. Hence, why I am pushing so hard in this county verses the neighboring ones.
With the help of Lady Freethinker, I have collected nearly 40,000 signatures on a petition that will be hand delivered to the county board by me and locals. We will then pressure the county board to pass the ban before more abusers come to the county.
This ban in the county also would be significant as many routes to DC or Fairfax County have to pass through PWC. If a traveling animal act has to pass through an area they are banned they are less likely to want to do so.
If you would like to help out with the campaign you can contact the Prince William County Board:
Chair at Large: Deshundra Jefferson – firstname.lastname@example.org – (703) 792-4640
Brentsville District Supervisor: Tom Gordy – email@example.com – (703) 792-6190
Coles District Supervisor: Yesli Vega – firstname.lastname@example.org – 703-792-4620
Gainesville District Supervisor: Robert B. Weir – BWeir@pwcgov.org – 703-792-6195
Neabsco District Supervisor: Victor S. Angry – email@example.com – 703-792-4667
Occoquan District Supervisor: Kenny A. Boddye – firstname.lastname@example.org – 703-792-4643
Potomac District Supervisor: Andrea O. Bailey – PotomacDistrict@pwcgov.org – 703-792-4645
Woodbridge District Supervisor: Margaret Angela Franklin – email@example.com – 703-792-4646
If you are not sure of what to say, use these this example:
I am Emailing you to ask you to ban traveling animal acts in Prince William County. These acts, such as circuses that use animals, rodeos, seal shows, etc. are immensely cruel to the animals, and dangerous for humans. Circuses beat animals to force them to do silly tricks, lock them in cages for hours every day, do not provide significant veterinary care, and force them to travel constantly. Animals in circuses are known to go insane from the constant abuse, traveling, and stress from loud music and cheering crowds. Many circuses have given up their animal acts as pressure from organizations and the public exposed their cruelty. Many cities and counties in the US, even entire states, have banned animal acts entirely, or aspects of them, such as banning all wild animal acts in New Jersey, or banning animal circuses period like in Montgomery County, MD.
Rodeos also are cruel to their animals, forcing them to travel long distances, never having pasture time, and using torturous tools to force them to “perform.” Bulls and horses used for bucking have their penises tied with flank straps, are electrocuted with tasers, and kicked with spurs that cut deep into their flesh to force them to buck out of fear and pain. Calves are taken from their mothers, tased, and tackled by fully grown men. Veterinarians who care for rodeo animals say the injuries they see are almost as if the animals are struck by vehicles! And when these animals break their legs, snap their necks, suffer head trauma, or simply are “too old,” they are shipped to slaughter.
These animal acts are also a danger to the public as scared, frustrated, and terrorized animals often escape our of fear or unable to take the pain any longer. Tyke the elephant is perhaps the most famous case of this. She was a circus elephant who in 1994 in Honolulu couldn’t take anymore pain, so she killed her “trainer,” and fled the circus tent. She was terrified of the traffic and screaming people, and ran through the streets, desperate to find freedom. Instead, she was shot 86 times, and died in agonizing pain, her eyes wide with fear and confusion, not sure what she had ever done to deserve this life of slavery, pain, and now death.
Other cases of animals escaping circuses and rodeos are abundant. In California last year a bull escaped a rodeo event and in his panic injured 6 people on the street. Last year two lions escaped a circus in China and roamed the streets for some time. There are many more stories of this happening, and they will continue to happen.
The circus that comes to Prince William County, Royal Hanneford, has an incident from a few years ago where two of their elephants escaped! This circus has a history of animals getting away, are you really going to risk it happening in PWC?
No wild animal should be performing under ANY capacity for crowds and be carted around like some object. Seal shows that also come to the county, merely a circus act, should not be allowed to continue.
Please, do the right thing and pass a law to ban these cruel acts, save the animals, and protect citizens from being potentially trampled by a terrified animal!