Julie Grosso: Illegally imported elephants pose risk at Circus World
Dear Editor: A group of performing elephants was imported into Wisconsin by the Carson & Barnes Circus to the Circus World Museum without the required state import permits or the accompanying veterinary certificates of heath, according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. One of the illegally imported elephants has tested positive for the tuberculosis antibodies. Tuberculosis is a serious, often life-threatening disease transmitted readily between humans and elephants.
A similar potential TB exposure was narrowly averted earlier this year after a complaint sent to DATCP by the Madison-based Alliance for Animals resulted in a female Asian elephant named Topsey being barred from entering the state after testing positive for tuberculosis antibodies. Topsey was scheduled to give forced elephant rides at the 2012 Bristol Renaissance Faire.
Also this summer, DATCP barred two elephants used by the George Carden Circus from entering the state. As you may know, the Zor Shrine Circus proudly contracts with the George Carden Circus for their elephant acts at the Alliant Energy Center.
Elephants in the circus are a public safety risk. Once again, I thank the Dane County supervisors for making the wise decision to ban elephant performances.