In regard to the forthcoming ballot, I would like to remind everyone that 250 people signed a petition to ban animal circuses in Clatsop.

It is just not logical to take animals from the wild and make them perform painful and dangerous tricks. You cannot say to a baby elephant “Stand on your head, sit on a chair, lie down on your side.” You cannot say to a tiger “Jump on that stool, jump through this blazing hoop, stand up on your hind legs.”

To make them do these things they have to suffer great pain; through pain and terror their spirits are broken and they succumb, becoming robots. Baby elephants are taken from their mothers while still suckling, they are brutally “trained” every day for a year until they become automatons.

The rest of the time they are chained by the back legs so that they cannot move in any direction. Gone is their natural way of life, walking for 16 hours a day in the fresh air and sunshine, suckling from their mothers, playing with their siblings and enjoying the love and protection of their herds.

Tigers, lions, bears are kept in small cages all their lives. They cannot be let out, they are dangerous. Zebras are kept in small enclosures, never allowed to run freely.

All circus animals are whipped, stabbed, kicked and electro-shocked to force them to perform. Is this suitable entertainment for children? If children could see what goes on behind the scenes they would cry, and refuse to ever go to another circus.

Thousands of Americans have been complaining to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for years about the appalling cruelty to circus animals. Finally, in November 2011, with a mountain of incriminating evidence, the USDA fined FELD Entertainment, owner of Ringling and Barnum & Bailey, $270,000 for continuous violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The smaller circuses like Jordan’s, Gatti, Carson & Barnes, Shrine, are also guilty of violations of the act.

In January, Irvine, Calif., a city of 219,156 people banned animal circuses, joining numerous other cities and counties. China and India and other countries worldwide have banned them. What is Clatsop County waiting for?

No animal should suffer for our entertainment. I urge everyone to consider what we are teaching children: Should they condone circus brutality, or should they love and respect animals?

Please vote yes on Measure 4-155.