EDITORIAL – If we must have circuses, leave the animals out of them

‘See elephants live!’ says promotion with this poster from a U.S. version of Garden Bros. circus. Kamloops performance won’t include exotic animals.

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE CIRCUS is coming to town this week.

And, with it, the perennial issue of whether circuses are a good or a bad thing.

There’s a long record of accusations and legal challenges against circuses on the question of cruelty to animals, some undeniable and some unproven.

One can argue — as Mayor Ken Christian does — that the animals performing in the Garden Bros. Circus at the Sandman Centre are domestic and not exotic animals, which is true.

One can also argue that Garden Bros. Circus, in its various iterations, has been the subject of previous complaints and legal challenges in the past, both in Canada and the U.S., which it has.


Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear twice daily Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (6313 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – If we must have circuses, leave the animals out of them

  1. The dog and pony show…of the editorial kind.
    You gotta a problem with circus animals and yet…what about the whole meat industry of any kind?

    • Mel Rothenburger // October 18, 2017 at 9:06 AM // Reply

      We should fight against cruelty to animals wherever we see it, whether farm, domestic or exotic. For example, the recent cases involving dairy cows and chickens, as well as numerous examples with slaughterhouses.

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