CFA’s Official Statement regarding Animal Welfare
We Care About Animal Welfare
Members of the Circus Fans Association of America (CFA) come from many walks of life—we are active and retired circus performers, educators, clergy, men and women of business and industry, first responders, medical personnel, entertainers, animal caregivers, public servants, and representatives of many other areas of society. We are united in our love and advocacy for the circus in all its forms, including those companies who feature domestic and exotic animals. As we are unified in our love of the circus, we are also united in our respect and love for the animals in the circus, and those who care for them.
Based on our membership’s extensive experience with circus, the CFA recognizes that the circus industry is on the front lines of endangered species conservation. Circuses promote education about endangered species, advance knowledge and expertise of husbandry techniques, and serve as a genetic insurance policy against extinction through some of the most successful breeding programs in the world.
We therefore support the humane and responsible care and exhibition of circus animals and those showcased in other mainstream forms of entertainment; we support and seek to preserve the human-animal bond that is often expressed through respectful contact with animals and the experience of seeing them in person; and, supporting the public’s right to choose its entertainment options. We denounce those extremists who seek to impose their agenda on the public, destroy human contact with animals, and who foster misinformation about the circus and its people.
As an American tradition older that baseball, the circus is a valuable art form accessible to all walks of life. We wish for present and future generations to experience animals in person and to witness the amazing bond humans and animals share as a way of inspiring them to have a vested interest in conservation, as in its most elemental form the circus is truly a celebration of life.
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Sample verbiage for members who wish to write media about inappropriate use of the term “circus.”
We respectfully request that the media not refer to scandals, chaos, or sensationalism as a “circus.” That is offensive to those of us who are affiliated with, friends with, or employed by circuses.
To use the name of our industry in connection with negative, inefficient, or outrageous behavior is not only troubling to us, but inaccurate. Real circus people are hardworking, organized, law-abiding, devoted family members who bring family-friendly entertainment to millions in various venues around the country. To describe anything scandalous, outside the law, inefficient, or offensive as a “circus” is an insult to those who proudly practice and promote the circus arts for the enjoyment of the public.
CFA Media Release
For release to local media for covering CFA events held in conjunction with circus performances. Feel free to personalize, and note information that would need to be filled in. If you know a local reporter, TV personality, editor of a paper, or friendly blogger, you can customize and share for publication.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: [Tent president or event chair]
Among the circus goers who will enjoy [Name of circus] at the [Venue], [Date (s) of show], will be members of the Circus Fans Association of America.
For these enthusiasts, every day is circus day.
They’ll have an information and display booth set up outside the [Venue] [Insert times Tent members will be there] where they will introduce the public to their national organization, made up of members from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds who have one thing in common—they all love the circus.
Circus Fan groups are organized with local “tents” or clubs that get together regularly, especially whenever the circus comes to town. These members are from [Name of Tent and region].
Local Circus Fan Tents are often named for circus personalities such as Emmett Kelly, “Grandma,” and Bello Nock, famous clowns; daring horse rider Dorothy Herbert; or Adam Forepaugh, for a time P.T. Barnum’s chief circus competitor.
Those attending the show are encouraged to join the Circus Fans whose outstanding publication, “The White Tops,” appears six times a year and contains news and updates about the circus industry, performers, animals, and trends in the art of the circus.
“The circus has been around in America for more than 200 years,” said Circus Fan [ ]. “It’s a wonderful, family-friendly tradition, and we fans are the latest in a long line of enthusiasts who love circus history and the performing arts.”
[He/she] said the Circus Fans, or CFA, was founded in 1926 and is America’s oldest organization devoted to supporting the circus, advocating for its human and animal performers, and, of course, enjoying every performance it is possible to attend.
For more information on the Circus Fans Association of America, or to join the CFA, go to the organization’s website, circusfans.org, and learn more about this unique organization. For information on the growing youth circus movement in America, see a related website, circus4youth.org.