For Immediate Release: November 18, 2013

(Crestview, FL) – The Loomis Bros. Circus is in Crestview starting today for four days of shows at Old Spanish Trail Park.

The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida is urging strict enforcement of a City of Crestview ordinance to ensure animal welfare and the safety of circus patrons. The ordinance (Sec. 10-19. Concealment of animals, scientific experimentation and related acts prohibited) states, in part:

“No person may sponsor, promote or train a wild animal to participate in, contribute to the involvement of a wild animal in, or attend as a spectator any activity or event in which any wild animal engages in unnatural behavior … or displayed in such a way that the animal is abused or stressed mentally or physically.”

Animal advocates are particularly concerned about a Loomis Bros. Circus act during which an 8,000 pound, 41-year-old elephant named Okha is forced to stand with all four feet on a ball and balance in place. The act is unnatural, physically stressful, potentially dangerous, and is in clear violation of the city ordinance.

The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) has sent a letter to the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) demanding strict enforcement of the ordinance.

“It is obviously unnatural for an 8,000 pound elephant who was born in the wild in Asia to be forced to balance on a ball during a circus,” said ARFF Communications Director Don Anthony. “We expect the City of Crestview to enforce its ordinance and prohibit this ridiculous and cruel act.”

# # #