Media Releases

Animal Justice Urges OSPCA to Inspect Shrine Circus

TORONTO – Animal Justice Canada (Animal Justice) is urging the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) to inspect travelling circuses in Ontario to ensure compliance with provincial animal welfare law. The Shrine Circus will be in the Greater Toronto Area from July 6-8, July 13-15, July 20-22, July 27-29, and August 2-6. It is scheduled to make stops in municipalities across Ontario this summer, and includes performances by animals such as elephants, horses and dogs.

Animal Justice has written to the OSPCA to ask it to inspect the Shrine Circus. 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.

“Undercover footage has repeatedly shown that animals used in circuses may be kept in inadequate conditions and forced to perform through beatings with painful instruments,” said Nick Wright, Executive Director of Animal Justice. “Shrine Circuses have a long history of violating animal welfare laws in the United States, including many incidents that would likely be illegal in Ontario. Animal Justice urges the OSPCA to closely monitor and inspect the Shrine Circus this summer to ensure animals are treated in accordance with Ontario’s animal welfare laws.”

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (the “Act”) sets out minimum standards of care that apply to animals, including wild animals kept in captivity – like circus elephants. 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.

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