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The Shrine Circus is Committed to our 

Animal Entertainers and provides the utmost love and care every day.® 



Animal Welfare Regulations 


The Shrine Circus, it contractors and affiliates comply with all federal, state and local regulations, in addition to its own stringent animal-care guidelines. Circuses and other traveling exhibitions are required to be licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Before the USDA and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will issue a license or registration, the applicant must be in compliance with all standards and regulations under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). All Animals exhibitionst are open to comprehensive animal welfare regulations at the federal, state and local levels. 

Circuses and other animal exhibitors also are open to state and local animal-care laws and permit requirements. Such regulations provide protection to all performing animals and allow for the prosecution of those who neglect or mistreat animals in their care. Depending on the state and/or city, The Circuses or Contractors may be required to apply for state and local permits through the local Fish and Game or animal-control authority and would be open to

unannounced inspections conducted by these local agencies as well. Under the federal AWA, USDA representatives who are veterinarians or animal health experts conduct regular, unannounced inspections of our animals and animal Partnership with Animal-Welfare Inspector.

Animal handlers and contractors share information and work with federal, state and local offcials to ensure that the highest quality animal-care practices and inspectors have the best information on which to make evaluations.


Organizations like American Zoological Society AZA, The Elephant Managers Assoc. The OABA, The CFA and others police their own and make sure that proper training on care of animals is available.


Our animals are fed and watered in prescribed measures on a regular schedule as determined by our animal programs team. Fresh food, including hay, protein- enriched grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, vitamin-forti ed prepackaged meat, bread and a special vitamin and mineral-enriched granular mix, is shipped directly to the arena from local sources in each city.

Safety and Security

We are the first to acknowledge and respect the natural instincts of our exotic animals. Our animal attendants are familiar with the individual personalities and temperaments of their charges. We provide around-the-clock security for our animals — protection from other animals, natural predators, public harassment, vandalism and trespassers. Only qualifed animal attendants, trainers and Authorized Circus personnel are allowed in the stable area. In fact, there is no evidence that captive animals are any more prone to aggressive or erratic behavior that those in the wild. Operant conditioning and socialization help build a lasting relationship between the animals and their handlers that makes the animals safer and more predictable to work with.


The relationship between the humans and animals that perform is built on mutual respect and trust. Our training methods are based on reward and repetition in the form of food and words of praise. Trainers teach animals routines that showcase their physical abilities and beauty, as well as their distinctive behaviors. Verbal or physical mistreatment and the withholding of food or water are strictly prohibited.

A local veterinarian is also on call 24 hours a day in each city where the show performs. Each animal receives regular, thorough medical examinations and all needed vaccinations. The animals are fed, watered, groomed and cleaned daily. The entire stable area and the individual animal stalls are cleaned regularly, manure is removed and fresh bedding is provided.

Facts About Elephants Performing in Circuses

• Only those elephants with a suitable temperament and a natural predisposition toward training are selected for performances. For example, most circuses utilize female elephants for performances, as their social structure better lends itself to training and performing. Bull elephants are more solitary by nature.

• The Asian elephant has been living and working with humans for thousands of years. Over one-third of the remaining Asian elephants in the world interact closely with humans, in such varying areas as circuses, zoos, agricultural and logging industries, religious ceremonies and eco-tourism.

• Elephants that perform with reputable circuses are provided with round-the- clock veterinary attention, nutritious meals and a clean and safe home. They are stimulated by all the exciting activity around them, have time for play and social interaction with other animals and have a chance to use their physical and mental skills every day.

• A positive, healthy environment is the only acceptable and successful method of training elephants. Therefore, the cornerstone of all circus elephant training is positive reinforcement through praise, repetition and reward.

• Elephants have long been important and beloved members of circus culture and history. The affection and awe that they generate among circus audiences helps focus attention on the current challenges facing the future survival of the species.

• Studies have shown that the public display of performing elephants contributes to heightened public awareness of the animals themselves and of man’s responsibility for their well-being and protection. This is especially true for children, who not only become more aware of elephants and their special needs and abilities, but also experience rst-hand the importance of caring for and respecting all animals.

• The Asian elephant is in grave danger of extinction. Fewer than 35,000 Asian elephants remain in the world. Surviving populations in the wild are faced with poaching, consumer demand for ivory and other elephant products and a dwindling habitat due to human encroachment.

• Because of the superior care they receive, elephants in captivity live healthier and safer lives than their counterparts in the wild. 

Source: USDA & APHIS Animal Care Fact Sheet.

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