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Go with animal-free circus
June 1, 2017
If the Bonners Ferry Rotary Club wants folks to support its circus, it would be wise to partner with one of the many successful animal-free circuses out there, not Culpepper & Merriweather, which has a voluminous record of violating the Animal Welfare Act and endangering the public (“Two circuses coming, only one giving back to community,” 5/31).

Culpepper & Merriweather even had its license to exhibit animals suspended—a rare action taken only for the most serious of violations—after an administrative law judge determined that it had “demonstrated a shockingly cavalier attitude” toward animal health and safety.

Numerous animals have also reportedly died prematurely on Culpepper & Merriweather’s watch, including multiple elephants and tiger cubs. An underweight, wounded tiger cub was also confiscated from the circus by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) when the agency found that the conditions he was held in—a tiny, filthy, hot container—fell below the minimum requirements of the law.

The circus has also been cited by the USDA for failing to securely confine dangerous wild animals, including tigers and a lion, and, according to reports, animals under their care and supervision have in the past escaped, endangering the public.

Anyone who cares about animals—or just their family’s health and safety—should stay away from the fairgrounds while Culpepper & Merriweather is on site.
Delcianna J. Winders
Animal Law & Policy Fellow
Harvard Law School
Publisher's Note: The above has been submitted as a letter to the editor by its author, Ms. Winders. The opinions expressed in this letter are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the opinions or policies of NewsBF or of Boundary County Live, LLC., or of any of the owners or employees of Boundary County Live, or contractors affiliated with it.
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