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Protesting the Circus in Tracy, California

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September 2008

TRACY -- The circus is coming and, apparently, its baggage is being carried by an international animal rights organization.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sent a letter to the Tracy City Council urging a ban on the use of bull hooks, electric prods and other devices used in the training of circus animals, days before the Florida-based Carson and Barnes Circus rolls into town with shows in the West Valley Mall parking lot.

But circus officials -- who invited the public to come view the elephants during the set up of their performance tent beginning at 9 a.m. Monday -- say they don't use electric prods, and the bull hooks have been standard practice for centuries in an effort to guide the elephants around.

Even though any new ordinance would not affect the four shows scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, PETA said the performances would be the last time such instruments are used on elephants in Tracy.


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