Sunday, May 13, 2007

Prince George, B.C., bans exotic animal performances

By 250 News
Monday, April 30, 2007 10:21 PM

Prince George City Council has decided the days of the performing tigers and elephants are numbered.

It was June of last year that City Councilors asked staff to prepare a report on how the City could deal with a request from the BC SPCA that all circuses using exotic animals be banned from Prince George.

Well, the Jordan Circus has been booked for Prince George, and the Jordan Circus uses elephants and tigers. The report before Council says if the City bans such circuses, then $10 to $15 thousand dollars will be lost in booking revenue. The Jordan Circus has already signed a contract to appear in Prince George this July.

That contract would be honoured regardless of Council’s decision.

There were four options presented to Council:

Continue to allow them and let the BCSPCA carry out the inspections to ensure the animals are allright ( that’s how Edmonton deals with it)
Draft a bylaw prohibiting exotic animal performances in circuses and shows ( 20 B.C. municipalities are going this route although Vancouver is taking it one step further and prohibiting the ownership of exotic animals.)
By policy, refuse to rent civic facilities to such circuses, although nothing would prevent a private land owner from providing a site
Have a resolution sent to North Central Municipal Association and the Union of BC Municipalities calling for a Provincial ban on a standardized list of exotic animal performances.
Council Don Zurowski moved that Council adopt option 2.

Bylaw Officer Ken Craig told Council his office has not received any complaints about cruelty or mistreatment of animals.

"It is progressive and its the right thing to do" says Councilor Brian Skakun. Councilor Deborah Munoz says the City shouldn’t allow any kind of show that caused any mistreatment of any animal exotic or not.

Councilor Murry Krause, says "Caging wild animals is archaic, and its time we show how progressive Prince George really is."

Councilor Sherry Sethen "There are things that cause animals some stress, and I would suggest that as we move forward we will be challenged by others in the community and I would hope we stand firm and not change our minds".

Councillor Glen Scott "We always have these groups come forward saying why this should take place, and its a backward step just regimenting another part of our lives." Scott was the only one to vote against the development of the bylaw.

Kathi Travers, an animal welfare activist, and a member of the BC SPCA had pushed for such a bylaw for years. When the vote was complete, a jubilant Travers wept with joy. exotic++animals+and+circuses+on+their+way+out

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