The animal activists group UPAQ, held a protest on Dec 26 against Le Super Cirque spectacle in the city of Boisbriand. The Super Cirque is being sponsored and brought back to Quebec after five years of absence by the event promoter EVENKO.According to the official press release, EVENKO “is thrilled to present the SUPER CIRQUE. This unique show, created and produced by EVENKO, gathered the best circus numbers in North America. An exclusive show that [people] can’t see anywhere else.”
Well, EVENKO should change their statement to “An exclusive show that you should not see anywhere else.” I truly wonder if EVENKO did research the reputation of George Garden Circus International. According to the Alliance for Animals website, George Garden Circus has failed numerous times with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The US Department of Agriculture (USA) cited the two most recent violations on March of 2011.
- March 17, 2011: The USDA cited George Carden Circus for a direct violation of the AWA for failure to establish and maintain a program of adequate veterinary care after failing to use “appropriate methods to assess and treat the stiffness and gait issues” of three elephants. The inspector questioned the fitness of the elephants to be on the road, saying that failure to diagnose and treat the animals “could affect the long term health and wellbeing of these elephants.”
- March 16, 2011: The USDA cited George Carden Circus for a direct violation of the AWA for failing to ensure that elephants being used for elephant rides remained under the control of handlers. The inspector wrote that there were too few handlers, that the handlers who were present were distracted, and that the elephants were seen walking around the rink while not under the control of a handler.
As you can read, EVENKO failed to notice these various serious violations. They did not think of the welfare of the animals and they also overlooked the safety of the people. We could think that it was an honest mistake by EVENKO and there was no research done before signing contract with such entertainment company. I can only say that EVENKO may be a bit naïve and has no idea of what goes on with circuses that have performing animals. Their poster portrays an elephant and other animals as happy, but with the abuse they may receive, just the opposite must be true.
As seen on several YouTube videos, the George Carden Circus uses bullhooks to train and dominate the elephants. I have added a video that shows “the main trick” that Bo the elephant does and people can clearly see the torturing tool being used on him. According to PETA’s website the purpose of the bullhook is for the trainer to use the hook and the point to apply varying degrees of pressure to sensitive spots on the elephant’s body, causing the elephant to move away from the source of discomfort. There are other videos where another elephant that is part of the George Carden Circus company, has deformed legs, is limping and is forced to give rides to children. The George Carden Circus is also bringing in dogs and dancing bears. There is documentation that they have been sanctioned because of animal cruelty and even banned from one of the provinces of Canada. The PETA Fact Sheet states the following:
- May 1, 2001: According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., two George Carden Circus employees pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals charges in provincial court in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and each was fined $200. The charges were brought after investigators found that the bears were kept in filthy, undersized cages for 23 hours a day. The judge stated that he wished the legislation were stronger so that he could penalize the defendants more and suggested that people stay away from the circus.
- August 1, 2000: Each of two George Carden Circus employees was charged by the SPCA with five counts of cruelty to animals in Newfoundland, Canada. The alleged offenses include causing unnecessary pain and suffering to five bears, eight ponies, and three elephants and failure to provide water and care for the elephants.
- July 23, 2000: According to The Daily News, the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources forced George Carden Circus to leave the province and levied a fine because the circus had brought bears in violation of an ordinance prohibiting bears in circuses. The circus was forced to cancel 10 remaining performance dates and was also fined for failure to have a wildlife import permit.
- June 26-27, 2000: A Canadian SPCA investigator found eight ponies and three elephants confined to a poorly ventilated trailer for more than seven hours without water. A chain around the leg of one of the elephants lacked sufficient padding to prevent injury. Inadequate space “forced one elephant to take an unnatural posture.” The elephants exhibited “extreme signs of abnormal and stressed behavior” prior to loading. Five bears were confined in very small cages for 23 hours per day without water or bedding. The bears‟food was contaminated with fecal material. One bear exhibited signs of “abnormal and stressed behavior.”
- June 16, 2000: According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the Stephensville, Newfoundland, fire department’s chief stated it was unlikely that the agency would bring the George Carden Circus back again because of controversy over the treatment of animals.
- June 12, 2000: According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the St. John’s, Newfoundland, City Council voted not to give a license to the George Carden Circus for a
- June 23-24 booking at Memorial Stadium after viewing video footage of how animals in circuses are trained. The city later put into effect a policy that it will not issue a license to any circus that features exotic or wild animals.
It is so strange that EVENKO, a proud Canadian business, would deal with such a company. At the moment, EVENKO is promoting for Cirque du Soleil for their show DRANLION taking stage at the Bell Center and other cities in Quebec. For those that may not know, Cirque du Soleil is an animal-free circus and its shows and performers are known for their cruelty free content that, depending on the show, they are appropriate for spectators of all ages. As it seems, EVENKO does not work on principle but on monetary interest.
Cirque du Soleil has evolved the idea of circuses…the EVENKO Company just likes to promote old-fashioned ideas and continue feeding the Quebec public with ignorance.