Media Releases

Animal Justice Calls for OSPCA Inspection of Shrine Circus

Animal Justice Canada is calling on the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to inspect travelling circuses this season to ensure compliance with provincial animal welfare laws.

“We are urging the OSPCA to closely monitor and inspect Shrine Circuses to ensure that animals are treated in accordance with the law. Because enforcement officials may not recognize the presence of distress in captive wild animals like elephants and tigers without special training, it is imperative that such animals be examined by qualified experts,” said Nicholas dePencier Wright, Executive Director of Animal Justice Canada.

Performances by the Shrine Circus in Ontario are underway. Today, the Brampton performance stop begins, and it will continue until July 14. The Shrine Circus is also scheduled to make a July 18-21 stop in Vaughan, a July 25-28 stop in Oakville, an August 2-5 stop in Markham and an August 9-11 stop in Ottawa. Shrine Circus performances include animals such as horses, elephants, and tigers.

Animal Justice Canada has written to the OSPCA to ask that it inspect the Shrine Circus throughout its performance schedule. The OSPCA enforces provincial animal welfare legislation. A copy of the letter can be read HERE. A copy of the referenced Shrine Circus Fact Sheet can be read HERE.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act sets out minimum standards of care that apply to animals, including wild animals kept in captivity – like circus elephants and tigers. These include measures like providing animals with adequate food, water, and medical attention; transporting animals in a manner that ensures their general welfare; providing animals with enough space to exercise; and ensuring that enclosures for wild animals are appropriately designed, safe and provide shelter. The Act also prohibits the owner or custodian of an animal from causing or permitting an animal to be in distress.

Animal Justice Canada is a Canadian Registered Charity dedicated to advancing public knowledge of animal practices and preventing the abuse and killing of animals through the enforcement of existing laws.

Tax deductible donations can be made on the website using credit card or PayPal at: or by contacting the organization to make alternative arrangements.