For Immediate Release: 4 April 2005
Contact: Mary Zoeter (703) 244-5228
Bill Dollinger (202) 296-2172

FAIRFAX, Va – Action for Animals Network and Friends of Animals will be at the intersection of Braddock Road and Roanoke Lane, at the George Mason University Patriot Center, to protest the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus from 1:00-3:00 pm on Saturday, 8 April 2006.

Mary Zoeter, President of Action for Animals Network states, “Circus animals never have a day off. When not performing under the threat of beatings, they spend their lives chained or in pitifully small cages. If parents wish to teach their children about wild animals, they can do so by showing their children how these animals appear in the wild, not by taking them to see animals who are merely shells of the truly wild ones.”

Friends of Animals Washington DC director Bill Dollinger says, “Circuses that include animal acts are not family entertainment. Baby elephants are removed from their mothers and forced into a lifetime of performing. As the families of these animals are broken, so are their spirits.”

Activism and educational efforts have led to a growing number of towns banning circuses that include animal acts. Locally, the community of Takoma Park, Maryland has enacted such a ban. The list also includes Hollywood, FL, Stamford, CT, Huntington Beach, CA, Pasadena, CA, Boulder, CO, Quincy, MA, Redmond, WA, Toronto, and Vancouver. Circuses with animal acts are also banned in Finland, England, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.

Adds Dollinger, “Many circuses do not use animal acts, but offer opportunities to marvel at dancers, acrobats and daring feats. The Pickle Family Circus, Cirque du Soleil, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and Circus Smirkus have played to cheering crowds without resorting to the use of animals.”

Friends of Animals is an international animal advocacy organization with 200,000 members and supporters, with headquarters in Darien, Connecticut and a Washington, DC office. Action for Animals Network is a grassroots animal rights organization located in Northern Virginia.