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Protesters try to stop Shriners' Circus

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CBC News
Protesters try to stop Shriners' circus
Monday August 28, 2000

Justin Hayward reports for CBC Radio
[Download Players]
POINTE-CLAIRE, QUE. - Some families on their way into the Shrine Circus in Pointe-Claire, Quebec had to make their way through a colourful protest.

A group of animal rights activists was demonstrating outside. The group says the circus is cruel to animals and they want the city to ban it.

"They live in these cages for three-quarters of their lives. The only time they get out of the cage is to perform. So they eat, sleep and defecate in this one tiny space," says Andrew Plumbly of the Global Action Network.

Plumbly says that's why his group is calling on Pointe-Claire to pass a bylaw outlawing animal entertainment.

He says many people assume the circus raises money for the Shriners hospital. But he says the money is spent on Shriner social functions.

The Shriners say only a small potion of the money gets spent on themselves. Jean DeCotret, circus chairman for the Quebec Shriners, says the rest is spent on kids who need the hospital's help.

"The money that we raise for the circus is used for the transportation and lodging of the children and their parents when they come to Montreal."

DeCotret says the Shriners have worked with this circus group for 50 years. He says if the circus abused its animals they wouldn't have hired it.

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