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my views on the circus entertainment
What are your views on the circus these days and its use of animal performers? 

It seems as the modern circus has become a dead art form especially in America. Back in 2017, Ringling Bros & Barnum Bailey shut down for good. Declining admissions revenues, many concerns about animal welfare. I believe a circus might be run ethically under these following conditions:

How a Modern Circus in America Should Be: Included Show Features and Safety/Morality/Welfare Standards Desired

1. There should be traditional circus organ music that plays waltzes, ragtime and marches. A circus without organ music is like a camp without a fire. 

2. Show personnel should wear traditional costumes. Ringmasters should wear top hats.

3. There should be clowns in old-fashioned makeup and clothing. 

4. At least one horse dancing to organ waltz music is desirable.   At least one dog performing somersaults is also desirable so long as the animal is not subject to cruelty.

Morality Standards

5. People with deformities should not be exploited. There should be no freak shows. 

Safety Standards

6. Tents or big tops should not be employed as they may pose a fire or collapse hazard. The arena should be outdoors or inside a rigid building.

7. Aerial acrobats, as tightrope walkers, motorcycle high-wire performers and trapeze artists, should only perform over proper and serviceable safety nets with no exceptions. The circus is no place for small children to witness preventable gory falling deaths.

8. Equestrian performers should wear the proper safety helmet for horseback riding.

Humaneness and  Welfare Standards

9. Performing animals should be restricted to domestic animals as dogs, horses and camels. It is unethical and dangerous to handlers to keep wild species as lions, tigers and elephants in captivity. 

10. No circus animal should be beaten or otherwise treated cruelly during training or during circus ownership. No animal should be made to do tricks it's not willing to do. Animals when transported (as in trains, trucks or airplanes) should always be in a comfortable climate-controlled environment and have plenty of clean bedding and adequate space to lie down flat. Animals should be exercised regularly during long trips over land and have plenty of clean water and food.   Animals should be vetted regularly and groomed and bathed regularly.

Some of these standards I favor have to do with the safety of human performers. Some have only to do with the aesthetics of the entertainment but many have to do with the treatment of animals. Before paying any admission to any circus, I would email the circus from their website contact information and ask them questions. I would ask the circus I'm considering to visit whether they meet any of my standards for safety and ethics as outlined above. The circus may or may not reply. If the circus fails to reply, I won't even bother spending my money there. The thing is, I never can know how any circus treats its animals behind the scenes. There doesn't seem to be any government oversight and periodic inspections. Perhaps, circuses can't really operate as a profitable entity by conforming to many of the standards I find as a prospective paying spectator desirable. Making the circus safe and comfortable for its animal and human performers would certainly entail greater overhead costs.
Circuses everywhere are moving away from animal shows. People no longer want to see animals exploited for entertainment.
I think circuses that still have animals are subject to inspection by local animal control agencies or local humane societies.
There would be workplace safety laws to cover high wire  acts. Places where circuses take place would be subject to local fire safety laws.

Many of your suggestions would be covered by changes in local laws. Any tent would have to pass a lot of safety conditions and inspections.
Circuses can no longer run the way they did. They would not be permitted to exploit handicapped people. 
The traditional things  like the music and costumes would be permitted. 
I don't know if dogs and horses in the circus are such a good idea. It would be hard on the horses to travel. Maybe there are ways of making it work.

What isn't there is the audience. People are not attracted to the circus. Some of the circuses closed because they had such poor attendance levels.
We have more entertainment choices. I can't see any reason why I would go to the circus. There are so many things I would rather do.
Circuses were big at a time when small towns had few choices for fun. The circus traveled by train and the trains passed through  many towns.  Now people have cars and can go where they please. As rail travel declines so does the circus.

There are new modern forms of circus. Cirque du Soleil is one.

They have never done animal acts. It is all about acrobatics.

I think the traditional circus has run its course and will be come part of the history of entertainment.

I wonder if rodeos will be next.
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I agree totally, Catherine. Animals have their own rights and are not to be used for entertainment. Circuses can exist for those who want them, but without the use of animals. Humans can perform in circuses, because they are free to refuse the work if they so choose. Clowns, trampoline acts, problem. But animals, no. They cannot express their consent to be used for entertainment of humans.

Black Wolf: camels are not domestic pets! They live in hot countries and are not "entertainers". Keeping them in captivity for circuses to travel around is morally unacceptable. Horses do not naturally dance and the training technique requires some use of force. Horses should be in fields, eating grass, not being shunted around from town to town in transport vans. Some dogs will willingly do tricks for their humans, that is true, but that is not the same as their being *exploited for mass entertainment*, constantly on the move from town to town and never knowing the joy of sharing life with their unique human(s) in a home environment, playing freely, going for walks, etc.

IMHO exploitation is never acceptable, even if beatings are not used to obtain the required training for a circus.
Then I suppose it's just as well that circuses die out. I'd rather be hiking in the woods, go dove hunting or go boating with my dogs than going to a stupid travelling show in town anyway.

I just recently emailed Circus Vargas and ask them questions regarding the standards of mine I posted here. I they fail to reply, I would not buy a ticket there anyway. Before Ringling Bros and Barnum Bailey went belly up in 2017, I had emailed them a few years earlier with no reply. Suffice it to say, I did not go to their show either. 

I thought camels were a domestic species because people have been riding them since bible times.

Here is why the most dangerous and cruelest show on earth flopped finally:

Since 1976, there have been at least two high-wire falling deaths at RB&BB due to lack of a safety net. Small children at the show witnessed the bloody gore on the concrete next to smiling clowns. I saw the RB&BB three late summers in a row from 1975 through 1977 at the Cow Palace in SF. Fortunately there was no bloody mess when my family went. In 1977, there was an act where it appeared that a tall tower was toppling over and the performer on the tower was about to fall to his death. It made my heart jump a mile a minute. Drums were rolling in the band. It was just part of the act to scare people to death. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in that act really. Back then I never imagined animals were treated so harshly. In 1975, about 50 clowns got out of a Datsun B-210 compact car that pulled into the center ring. in 1976, there was a "short-people" (midgets) married couple from Europe who appeared in the center ring. They spoke into the microphone and the man had a voice like Porky Pig. Short people was the extent of freak shows then.
Since the circuses were so heavily linked to animal acts and the animal acts were linked to animal abuse, the circuses were  linked to animal abuse. 
As  public opinion turned against animals abuse, it also turned against circuses. Their time of entertaining people is over. No one wants to see that kind of entertainment any more.

There was never any need to work without safety nets. The circus endangered its performers and it exposed people to horrible sights. Yes it was traumatic for children, but it wasn't easier for adults to see death like that. I saw someone last October who fell onto the road and was killed. Yes it bothers me and so it should.

I recently posted about the retired circus elephants.

Life is going to be good for them now. Sadly many elephants died before they ever got a chance to retire in peace. Their whole lives were exploitation.

Midgets and dwarves no longer let themselves be exploited.  Our society tries to treat all people with the dignity and respect they deserve.

The time for circuses is gone.  I don't miss them.
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You probably have much more fun with animals of your own then watching them perform goofy tricks at any corny circus anyway. You might love to hike with your pooches on nature trails or ride your horse if you have one.
I live in the city and I have small animals, but I have fun with them. I don't want them to do tricks. There are a lot of wild animals in the city and I like the fact that they are wild. They do what they want.  I watch them live their lives around me and that is a wonderful encounter with animals.   If I had a cat or dog, I wouldn't want them to do tricks. 

A Robin decided to nest on my verandah. I have watched her sitting on her eggs and now I get to watch her feed 3 chicks. Soon I will get to see them leave the nest. There is no animal entertainment the circus ever did that is as good as watching this bird's nest. I saw the baby birds for the first time today.  Heart
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