Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Shrine Circus comes to Fort Collins amid protests and a proposed federal law to ban wild animals

Posted: 12 May 2012. Updated: 12 May 2012

Shrine Circus comes to Fort Collins amid protests and a proposed federal law to ban wild animals

Fort Collins, CO - May 10, 2012—Jordan World Circus is coming to Fort Collins to perform as the El Jebel Shrine Circus, bringing with it a menagerie, and the growing controversy about the suffering of these wild animals from confinement, physical and social deprivation, long, arduous journeys, brutal control methods and physical violence. Animal Defenders International’s (ADI) grassroots Break the Chain partner Animal ACTion Network will be educating circus-goers outside both scheduled performances this Saturday May 12th at the CSU Pickett Equine Center, 735 S. Overland Trail, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1679.

WHAT: Jordan World Circus / El Jebel Shrine Circus protest
WHEN: Saturday, May 12th at 1:30 – 3:00 pm and 5:30 – 7:00 pm
WHERE: CSU Pickett Equine Center, 735 S. Overland Trail, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1679

Animal advocates are not the only ones raising questions about circus animal abuse. The issue has now gained the attention of Congress. Animal Defenders International, alongside Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), introduced federal legislation last November, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 3359), which aims to protect wild animals by prohibiting them from being forced to perform in traveling circuses. The bill has bipartisan support, is gaining co-sponsors and awaits a hearing in the House Committee on Agriculture. Congressman Jared Polis from Colorado’s 2nd District, which includes Boulder, is a co-sponsor of the bill.

“Animal Defenders International applauds Congressman Jim Moran for introducing the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act, (H.R. 3359), which aims to end the worst abuses of captive wildlife by prohibiting exotic animals from traveling circuses,” said Matt Rossell, ADI’s Campaigns Director. “Keeping elephants in chains, confining wild animals like lions and tigers in small cages, and using physical violence to make them perform unnatural tricks for the sole purpose of human amusement is increasingly difficult to justify in our advanced society.”

The Jordan World Circus no longer has a USDA exhibitor license. They contract with other exhibitors for their animal acts and have a previous history of noncompliance with the minimum standards of care for animals used in exhibition, as established by the Animal Welfare Act. Jordan World Circus also has a history of putting public safety at risk, evidenced by high profile incidents such as in 2010 when a bear got loose from a handler during one of Jordon’s shows in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada and attacked another bear. The Honolulu Star Bulletin reported that, in 1996, an elephant performing with Jordan World Circus knocked down and repeatedly kicked her trainer in Casper, Wyoming. The elephant was giving rides to children at the time of the attack and one child fell off the elephant.

“We need to protect children and animals from violence and abuse. I encourage compassionate people to contact their Congressperson today and urge their support for the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act,” said Julie Hanan, assistant organizer for Animal ACTion Network in Colorado. “When families find out about the routine abuses that go on behind the scenes at circuses, like Jordan World Circus, and incidents endangering the public, like bears getting loose and elephants going rogue with children on their back, they will agree that circuses are no place for wild animals.”

It is a myth that wild animals are trained with kindness and rewards. Years of undercover investigations reveal that the training tools of the circus trade include bullhooks, (a heavy bar with a sharpened point and hook) stun guns and other electric prods, metal bars, whips, deprivation of food and water and intimidation. Large, potentially dangerous and often unwilling or distracted wild animals are routinely the subject of abuse by trainers who demand compliance using pain and punishment.



For more information please contact:

Matt Rossell
Animal Defenders International

Angie Rodgers (will be on site)
Animal ACTion Network

Circus outreach event - Saturday, May 12th at 1:30 – 3:00 and 5:30 – 7:00
Jordan World Circus / El Jebel Shrine Circus protest

As the leader of the Break the Chain campaign, ADI works with animal rights and welfare organizations across the U.S. , and is currently working to gain grassroots support for the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 3359), which currently has 20 co-sponsors and is awaiting a hearing in theHouse Committee on Agriculture subcommittee of Livestock, Dairy and Poultry. ADI has conducted investigations of circuses all over the world and has produced comprehensive reports, including one in the U.S. called Science on Suffering which details and provides evidence of the inherent suffering of animals forced to travel and perform.

To find out more information on ADI’s Break the Chain campaign, visit

For more information about the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 3359) visit

Animal Defenders International
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.

More information is available on ADI’s U.S. website:

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