Jordan World Circus is coming to town but not everyone is happy about it.
The Utah Animal Rights Coalition (UARC) announced that it has new photos and video evidence of cruelty to animals at the circus.
Jeremy Beckham, Executive Director of UARC, said in a prepared statement:
UARC reached out to the Salt Lake County Mayor as well as Salt Lake County Council weeks ago asking for them to consider a ban on wild animal acts in circuses, but we did not receive any substantive response. The new disturbing photos show that Jordan World Circus handlers use painful weapons on sensitive elephants and that their tigers are suffering severe psychological distress. Salt Lake County needs to give this its immediate attention and ban cruel circus acts which still use animals.
Jordan World Circus has made an annual winter visit to the Salt Lake County Equestrian Park & Event Center in South Jordan for nearly a decade.
UARC concerns were responded to in an email from the Salt Lake County Mayor's Office saying that amidst community concern, the circus opted not to use exotics animals in its events.
The mayor's office said that it originally denied the application of the circus but was assured only a few dogs, pigeons, ponies and a domesticated camel would be appearing before audiences. The email communication from the mayor's office to UARC said in part:
We are pleased that the Jordan World Circus was able to abstain from bringing exotic and wild animals to our facility and we are hopeful this may continue the conversation about the appropriate use of domesticated animals in these kinds of events.
However, UARC said that even when circuses manage to abide by the bare minimum AWA regulations, this does not make these events cruelty-free.