Topsfield, Massachusetts, Voted to Ban Circuses and Traveling Shows With Wild Animals

Local residents—including PETA members and supporters—of Topsfield, Massachusetts, voted to ban circuses and traveling shows with wild animals from ever setting up shop in the town again. R.W. Commerford & Sons has schlepped elephants to the Topsfield Fair, where they’re exhibited and forced to give rides, for more than 30 years—but thanks to compassionate residents of the town, that sad history just came to an end. Commerford has been cited multiple times by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for failing to provide elephants with adequate veterinary care, and activists have staged protests opposing the use of the animals for rides at the Topsfield Fair year after year. Town resident Martha Sanders filed the ordinance and informed her neighbors that exhibiting elephants and other wild animals is not only cruel but also dangerous for both animals and the communities that they’re exhibited in. PETA supported Sanders’ efforts by contacting our members and supporters in the city and urging them to attend the important vote. Thanks to Topsfield residents for sending a clear message that cruel animal acts are unwelcome in their town!

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind