Circus Animals Banned From Town Toyota Center
The circus might be coming to town but the animals that are usually a part of it won't be.
The Greater Wenatchee Regional Public Facilities District (PFD), which oversees the operations and finances of the Town Toyota Center, has placed a six-month moratorium on exotic circus animals at the venue.
"The moratorium is nice because it's not a final decision," says PFD secretary/treasurer Jerrilea Crawford. "This way we can actually have this issue as an agenda item so the public can be notified and be aware of it. Then they can come and speak on whatever position they have on the matter at that time. It also gives us a chance to make sure that any decisions we do eventually make on the matter have been properly run through all appropriate legal channels."
The moratorium was enacted by the PFD's board of directors on a 4-to-1 vote during its meeting on Dec. 21.
The action was taken ahead of scheduled performances by Las Vegas-based Jordan Circus at the Town Toyota Center on April 11 and 12, and after numerous citizen concerns were lodged with the PFD in recent months about the possible mistreatment of performing animals at the venue.
"It (moratorium) wasn't to prevent the circus from coming to the (Town Toyota) Center, it was just to prevent the animal piece of it," says Crawford. "The circus actually contracts with a separate group to bring in the animals. So we're very much in support of the circus coming and I believe the public group that was coming to our meetings with their concerns is also in support of the circus, just not the animals they use in their acts."
Jordan contracts with other entities to provide animals for entertainment purposes at their shows, including Carson & Barnes Circus of Hugo, Oklahoma.
Crawford says the PFD's board plans to address what animals specifically apply to the moratorium in the coming weeks.
"The (Jordan) Circus is asking for us to define what those animals are. We just put a moratorium on 'circus animals' but we really didn't get into much of a definition. So they may be asking our board for a clarification on what we mean by 'circus animals'. But I don't think we'll actually finalize any policies for at least a couple of months."
Crawford says the PFD plans to complete its process for better defining the moratorium's language and take any permanent stances on the issue well before Jordan's scheduled performance dates in April.
She adds that any actions taken regarding circus animals will not have an impact on performances involving other animals at the Town Toyota Center, such as those associated with rodeos or pet shows.