Dane County Board Votes to Ban

Elephant Acts

Last night, June 7, 2012, Dane County became the first Wisconsin community to ban the exhibition of elephants for amusement or entertainment. The County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance amendment banning such exhibitions by a vote of 23 to 9.

No new elephant acts shall be allowed at the county’s auditorium or exhibition center. Current county contracts with the Zor Shriners, who bring the George Carden circus to Madison every year, however, shall be honored until the final contract runs out in 2020.

“This is a step in the right direction – the direction of ending cruelty against elephants at Dane County facilities,” said Supervisor Al Matano, who introduced the amendment.

AFA thanks everyone who took the time to come out and speak for the elephants and to all 23 Supervisors who voted in favor of the elephant ban. Eloquent oral testimony came from citizens of Dane County, members of the County Board, and members of Alliance for Animals.

AFA thanks everyone who took the time to come out and speak for the elephants and to all 23 Supervisors who voted in favor of the elephant ban. Eloquent oral testimony came from citizens of Dane County, members of the County Board, and members of Alliance for Animals.

We especially wish to thank Supervisor Al Matano for his courage in introducing the ban and for his steady efforts to see it passed. Many people worked toward this landmark change in county policy; we thank them all. The animals are fortunate to have them working on their behalf.

Read the full story here.




Care About Elephants? Here Are Two

 Things You Can Do!

Number One: Add your photo to our Ban Elephant Acts in Dane County Support Page! Whether you are a Dane County resident or not, you can help us to show Dane County officials and community members that we care about elephants and do not wish to be a part of their captivity, loneliness, and oh so sad lives.

Although the decision to ban elephant acts has been postponed, we will not give up hope that Dane County will do the right thing and join people from all over the world in saying "No more elephants in the circus."

Print your own sign. Take a glamor photo (alone or with companions) holding our sign and add your name, your city, your district, your profession - whatever you feel comfortable with and email it to us at alliance@allanimals.org.

We will collect all of the photos and post them on our website and on other publications for this campaign. Send your sign to alliance@allanimals.org.

Number Two: It's almost Mother's Day. Nothing is more heartless than tearing a wailing baby elephant away from her mother for the sole purpose of entertainment. But that's what happened to most circus elephants when they were "trained" to perform their whole lives for humans.

Please print out and send Dane County Executive Parisi this Mother's Day card to remind him that elephant acts are not the Dane County Way and that we should ban elephant acts from Dane County venues.

Print out this card and mail it to Mr. Parisi at this address:
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi
City County Building, Room 421
210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Madison, WI 53703

Elephant Ban Decision Postponed
The Dane County Public Works and Transportation Committee met Tuesday, February 21, in closed session to discuss legal issues regarding the proposed ban on elephant acts at Dane County's Alliant Energy Center.

No public comment was taken.

Following the session, the Committee voted unanimously for an indefinite postponement. This was expected. The matter is very much still alive and will be revisited in May. Stay tuned.

It is still beneficial to periodically remind your Supervisor to support this ban. Always include your name and address. For information or talking points visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to read the most common questions about the use of elephants in circuses and what a ban would mean to Dane County.

There is no reason not to contact the comittee members listed below, if you haven't already done so, to let them know that you support the ban.

Robin Schmidt - Chair schmidt.robin@countyofdane.com
Kyle Richmond - Vice Chair richmond.kyle@countyofdane.com
Dave Ripp - Secretary ripp.david@countyofdane.com
Jeff Pertl pertl.jeff@countyofdane.com
Matt Veldran veldran@countyofdane.com

Watch excellent ABC News footage of elephants in the wild and circuses.

FAQ About the Dane County Elephant
When presented with images, video footage and first hand knowledge of elephants and elephants in the circus, one can only come to the conclusion that it is time to put an end to elephants in circuses.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to read the most common questions about the use of elephants in circuses and what a ban would mean to Dane County.

Sampling of questions about elephants and circuses.

Are elephant acts educational?
Are the training methods humane?
Do federal or state laws protect elephants in circuses and ensure their humane care?
Do elephants in entertainment pose a risk to the public?
Have other communities banned the use of elephants in circuses?

Watch excellent ABC News footage of elephants in the wild and circuses.

Our Elephants Living Free committee will hold its first meeting for planning our presence at the 2012 Zor Shrine Circus. Please come if you would like to help us educate the public on the cruelty of elephants in the circus:

Monday, January 23, 2012
6:30 p.m.
122 State Street, Suite 407, Madison


Breaking News for Circus World


As you may know, Circus World located in Baraboo, WI, contracts their elephant acts. In 2011, they contracted the Leibel Family Circus. The Leibel Family Circus forces Nosey the solitary elephant perform and give rides. Following many complaints by IDA over the past several years regarding Nosey, the USDA has filed a Complaint against Nosey’s exhibitor Hugo Liebel alleging numerous willful violations of the Animal Welfare Act. These include repeated noncompliance with the veterinary care, handling, housing and husbandry requirements: in all, some 25 violations over a period from early 2007 to early 2011. These are grave violations, the possible penalties for which include fines and suspension or revocation of Liebel’s license to exhibit animals.

Read more here.


Board Delays Vote On Measure
Banning Elephant Performances In
MADISON, Wis. -- A Dane County Board of Supervisors committee has delayed a vote on whether to ban elephant performances in Madison.

The elephants are among the biggest performers in the traveling circuses, but a group of supervisors said elephants weren't born to be crowd pleasers and they don't want them here.

The county's Public Works Committee was set to decide the issue on Tuesday, but members postponed the vote until the group's Jan. 10 meeting. Some supervisors have proposed an update to a county ordinance would prohibit pachyderms from performing.

YouTube Video

Read full story here.

B ig- Top Ban: New Bill Seeks to Put End to Aniamal Circuses

YouTube Video

On Wednesday, former Price Is Right host and animal activist Bob Barker appeared on Capitol Hill alongside Virginia Representative James P. Moran, CSI actress Jorja Fox and animal rights groups to show support for new legislation that would ban exotic animals from traveling circuses.

The proposed Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, which was introduced in Congress on Wednesday by Rep. Moran, would amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of non-domesticated animals, such as Asian elephants, lions, bears and tigers, in traveling circuses and exhibitions — lives in which animals are often subjected to a number of hardships, according to animal rights advocates.

“Americans are becoming increasingly aware that circus animals suffer from violent training techniques and severe confinement,” Barker said in a statement regarding the legislation. “Big, wild animals should not be part of the traveling circus and simply put, animal acts in circuses are antiquated and belong in the past, in a time when humans were ignorant about the needs of the other species who share our planet.”

What can you do?

Help us end the use of exotic animals in traveling circuses by supporting the  Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA)


We urgently need your calls and faxed letters today!


Please write formal, polite letters to your Congressional representative. Ask your friends and family to do the same.


Which method of correspondence is most important?

1. personal letter

2. personal fax

3. personal phone call

4. personal email


Find your representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

For more information read a memo on the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA) here.

Read story here.
Animals in Traveling Circuses - The Science on Suffering

Animals in circuses belong in the past, to a time when humans were ignorant about the other species that share our planet. However, over the past one hundred years human understanding has grown – science can now tell us about the intelligence of other species, their means of communication, toolmaking, culture, family bonds and emotions. Psychological, behavioural and environmental studies have helped us understand their world. With this greater knowledge of the capacity for suffering in our fellow creatures who share this earth, it is no longer acceptable for us to abuse animals in circuses, just for our entertainment. It is not the behaviour of a civilized, advanced society.

ADI partner organizations have studied circuses all over the world. We observe how animals live, how they are trained, and importantly, the attitudes of the workers. We have gathered extensive observational data and videotape. Our studies have concluded that life for animals in circuses is one of deprivation and suffering – they are deprived of everything that makes their life fulfilling. Circus animals are taken away from their family groups, forced to do tricks that they do not want to do; forced to live in tiny, barren cages where they have to eat, sleep, and defecate all in the same space, or spend a large part of their day tied on short ropes. These animal care practices are common throughout the worldwide industry. In addition, circus animals are frequently kicked, punched, whipped and beaten to make them obey. Such treatment of defenceless animals degrades our society.

Please read Animals in Traveling Circuses - The Science on Suffering. A discussion of the scientific evidence on animal suffering in captivity and transport, and a study of the use of animals in circuses in the U.S.
Bristol Renaissance Faire
This summer, ELF learned that the Bristol Renaissance Faire contracts Elephant Walk Inc. to provide forced elephant rides to faire-goers. The two elephants, Topsy and Annette Marie travel across the county with Frank Murray, owner of Elephant Walk.

ELF contacted Division of Animal Health Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to confirm that Elephant Walk Inc. provided the proper import paperwork and a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) required to import elephants to Wisconsin. Elephant Walk Inc. did not provide this information to DATCP. Unfortunately, circuses and other traveling shows police themselves and are responsible for providing this information to DATCP. Thankfully, DATCP issues a warning to the Bristol Renaissance Faire and Elephant Walk Inc. for not providing this required information. Unfortunately, the CVI provides information that the required vaccinations or tests were performed to ensure that the elephants are fit to travel and that the elephants are not carrying Tuberculosis or other diseases.

What can you do? Don't go to the Renaissance Faire. Contact the Entertainment director Kristen Mansour at 847-395-7773 x 231 to ask her not to allow elephant rides at the Renaissance Faire. Riding sick and abused elephants is dangerous!  
Boycott the film ZOOKEEPER

We are urging everyone to boycott the film Zookeeper. Recently, Animal Defenders

International (ADI) released video showing Tai, the elephant actor in Zookeeper and Water for Elephants, being hit and electric shocked by her trainers at Have Trunk Will Travel.

Abuse in this industry is NOT isolated and continues for these beautiful animals. Performing animals have no place in films and TV commercials as they are trained through pain and fear of further punishment, rather than a natural willingness to obey.

Other issues of this film include the death of the giraffe, who collapsed and died the day after his last scene filmed in this movie.




What You Can Do

Please help end the suffering at Have Trunk Will Travel. Speak up for Tai! See the attachment sample letters at then end of this page provided by ADI.

Help spread the word. Tell others why they should not see this film.




Save the Date: Special Screening of

One Lucky Elephant

Mark your calendars for Friday night July 8 for a special screening of One Lucky Elephant, the highly acclaimed documentary that "explores the consequences of keeping wild animals in captivity, while never losing sight of the delicate love story at its heart."

You will enjoy the film, delicious vegan appetizers, popcorn, and access to the East Side Club's famous Tiki Bar.

Date: Friday, July 8, 2011
Drinks and appetizers start at 6:30, movie starts at 7:30

Cost: Adults $15 and Students/Seniors $12
Place: East Side Club, 3735 Monona Drive, Monona


YouTube Video

Water for Elephants

Tai (aka Rosie) the elephant that performs in this film was born in Asia in 1968 and transferred to Lion Country Safari Inc, Florida, a drive through zoo. Tai transferred to Have a Trunk Will Travel, Inc. (Gary and Kari Johnson) on May 1, 1978. Have a Trunk Will Travel, Inc. makes their money off of elephants by making the elephants give rides, renting the elephants out for special events, religious ceremonies, commercials and movies, and breeding their elephants. Have a trunk has 23 elephants that have been euthanized, relocated to zoos, and sanctuaries.

You can read a Flora’s story, one of the Have a Trunk elephant that was transferred to the Tennessee Sanctuary here.

Ruby another Have a Trunk elephant was sold to a circus where she was forced to perform. Ruby also spent some time in zoos.  Please read Ruby’s story.

Gary and Kari Johnson (Have a  Trunk owners) have close ties with Ringling. They both testified in the Ringling lawsuit as witnesses for Ringling. They have done lobbing work on behalf of elephant exhibitions and have also acted as inspectors for the Ringling Circus. Gary Johnson is on the board of International Elephant foundation and has been part of the AZA Elephant Task Force. Good thing we have them making up the rules too!

Read Ringling testimony.

Quote from the book: August's mistreatment of Marlena pales beside the visceral wallop of his nonchalant cruelty toward Rosie: "I look up just as he flicks the cigarette. It arcs through the air and lands in Rosie's open mouth, sizzling as it hits her tongue. She roars, panicked, throwing her head and fishing inside her mouth with her trunk. August marches off. I turn back to Rosie. She stares at me, a look of unspeakable sadness on her face. Her amber eyes are filled with tears."


Boycott Shrine Circus Madison

Every year the Zor Shriners contract the George Carden International Circus to perform at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI. Proceeds benefit the Shrine Center and not the children’s hospital. Like most circuses, the George Carden Circus has a long list of non compliance with the Animal Welfare Act.

Please support Alliance for Animals in their request for Dane County to adopt an elephant-free policy barring elephant acts and the exhibition of live elephants in facilities owned or operated by Dane County.

You can sign our petition here.

PicasaWeb Slideshow

Elephants Living Free is a project of Alliance For Animals, a non-profit 501(c)3 animal rights organization. ELF was created to educate others about the exploitation of elephants for commercial gain. ELF believes that elephants should be able to live with dignity and freedom in a peaceful environment. ELF makes every attempt to provide accurate information to the public, and to advocate for the dignified treatment of elephant through their volunteers.

Alliance for Animals

c/o Elephants Living Free
P.O. Box 1632
Madison WI 53701

Tel: 608-219-7263

Email: elefriends005@gmail.com

Elephants Living Free,
Jul 17, 2011, 7:38 AM
Elephants Living Free,
Jul 17, 2011, 7:39 AM
Elephants Living Free,
Jul 17, 2011, 7:39 AM