Looking into the circus

A Milford resident attended a recent Board of Aldermen’s meeting and asked city leaders to consider an ordinance that would ban circuses with animals from putting on shows in Milford.

Lorrie Davies said she is concerned about the welfare of the animals and the safety of people who attend the circus.
Cole Brothers Circus has hosted shows at the Westfield mall in Milford the past two years. Protesters showed up at both those shows. Circuses are a longtime tradition, and they are a part of American history.
But times have changed and Davies has a point that this is an issue city leaders should look into. There are many questions to address, such as the city’s liability if such an event takes place on commercial property, and the likelihood of danger posed to attendees.
Davies said other communities have created such ordinances. She also said the circus has an animal-free show that uses only human performers in the acts.
It would be premature to make a decision on this issue without looking into the history and facts surrounding today’s circus world. A Cole Brothers representative said this week that the circus is very much committed to animal safety, and that circus officials welcome people behind the scenes to see how the animals are cared for. She believes there is much misperception about the care and treatment of circus animals.
But Davies has a point. City leaders just may have a responsibility to ask some questions, look into the matter and determine if any city involvement is necessary.