Thursday, April 20, 2017

County Bans Circuses

Sadly, I live in Mohave County and this is another government overreach and this time, by a bunch of conservatives.
From the Kingman Daily Miner: If you didn’t ride the elephants at last year’s Mohave County Fair, or didn’t see the big cats perform at Ringling Bros. Circus, you may not get that chance again in Mohave County.
The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Monday to ban the use of wild and exotic animals for traveling commercial display or performances in Mohave County.
Supervisor Steve Moss said he was initially opposed to the ban when a group of citizens brought it to him, but changed his mind after reviewing material that included secretly recorded video of animal abuse.
Moss asked the County Attorney to look into ordinances that would protect activities such as rodeos and animal sanctuaries, while at the same time prohibiting traveling commercial animals such as those used in circuses and carnivals.
Jonathan Kraft, owner of Keepers of the Wild animal sanctuary in Valentine, showed a three-minute video of elephants being beaten with metal bars, whips and hooked sticks. Lions and tigers were kept in 6-foot-by-8-foot cages on trucks for 12 hours at a time.
“All that suffering for a few minutes of entertainment is appalling,” Kraft told the board. “The writing is on the wall. Ringling Bros. shut down their circus.”
Keepers of the Wild receives a lot of the unwanted circus animals, Kraft said, and plans to expand with a 2,200-acre sanctuary in Golden Valley that was approved by the county in 2015.
“I think Mohave County can set an example to stop this horrific suffering of these animals. A lot of Third World countries have passed this ban. If they can do it, I think the United States can do it,” Kraft said.
Supervisor Buster Johnson, who voted against the motion, said he didn’t know if the county has the authority to ban circuses and must follow state law.
He asked Deputy County Attorney Ryan Esplin if he knew about the state law, and Esplin said he didn’t know “off the top of my head” if the county has the authority to pass this particular animal ordinance.
Supervisor Hildy Angius, also opposing the motion, said there are existing rules against animal cruelty on the record. She believes it’s connected to “geo-political” issues with which she does not agree.
Sure, let's allow rodeos where they rope cows, ride bulls and kick horses while the riders try and stay on for 8 seconds.
But let's ban circuses where young kids can see exotic animals up close, especially in areas in the county where it is not possible see any of these animals elsewhere, unless you want to pay big bucks to see them at Keepers of the Wild, who has a financial interest in not having circuses come to Mohave County.  Otherwise, you have to travel to Phoenix, about 3 hours away to see an actual zoo.
What a bunch of idiots, these 3 supervisors, who are supposedly conservatives, are who voted for this.

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