Circus protest at the dunk - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Circus protest at the dunk

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By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com

@DanaGriffinABC6

PROVIDENCE, RI- Dozens of protestors made sure their voices were heard outside the Dunk before the 11 am Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey show. They're protesting the use of all animals in the show, claiming circuses are cruel to them during training.

Protest organizer, Dennis Tabella said, "We're out here today to remind people that this is a cruel show."

The protesters are encouraging circus goers to boycott the show but some people are calling it annoying.

“It's just negativity. You don't need negativity you just want to be able to actually get out here and have fun with the kids. They don't need to see any of this," said parent, Michelle Barrett.

Samantha Hughes is from North Attleboro. She said, "I don't know why you have to push it in people's faces and kids come to this circus. You don't need to ruin it for the kids; you're not a fly on the wall, you don't know what goes on."

Animal superintendent, Ryan Henning said he's never abused nor witnessed animal cruelty during his 12 years with the circus.

"Our animals are cared for around the clock. They're basically like our family members. We do share a strong relationship with the animals and the training process is very simple, it's a lot of reward and repetition," said Henning.

Over the years, the circus has been criticized and sued by several animal rights groups over treatment of elephants.

The elephants are considered one of the circus's biggest attractions, but Ringling Brothers will phase out the act by 2018.

This animal rights group says unless the other animals like tigers, lions and camels are removed, they'll keep protesting circuses that try to come to Rhode Island.

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