Help Pass Permit Requirements

For Circuses Using Animals


The Oakland City Council's Public Safety Committee this week approved permit requirements for circuses using animals. There are currently no permit requirements in the City. Earlier this week, PAWS' director of science, research and advocacy, Catherine Doyle, testified before the committee in favor of the requirements, and also urged the city to take even stronger action to protect animals in circuses, citing the ban on bullhooks that was recently passed in Los Angeles.


The entire Oakland City Council must now approve the permit requirements. This will allow the city to better monitor the animals in circuses and to invite independent experts of the city's choice to assess their health and welfare. We need your help to ensure the requirements are passed - circus interests want to see substantive changes or to delay the permit requirements altogether.


If you are an Oakland resident, we strongly urge you to send an email to the Oakland City Council before Tuesday, December 10, when the Council will be hearing this item. You can also attend the meeting and speak in support of this important item during public comment.


What: Oakland City Council vote on permit requirements for circuses

When: Tuesday, December 10, 2013; 6:30 p.m.

Where: Oakland City Hall - Council Chambers, 3rd Floor;

1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA  94612


If you would like to speak during public comment, please arrive early and complete a speaker's card. Your comments may be limited to just one minute, so keep them brief, and include your name, your position on the item (in favor of the permit requirements as written) and your remarks.


Animals are not willing performers. They are coerced into performing unnatural tricks through inhumane training and the threat of pain. They are also subjected to unnatural and extreme conditions, such as confinement in small cages, extensive travel in trucks and train cars, prolonged chaining, and the inability to express natural behaviors. Please take action for these animals today.


What you can do:


Please send an email in support of the permit requirements to:


Cm. Noel Gallo,

Cm. Libby Schaaf,

Cm. Dan Kalb,

Cm. Lynette Gibson McElhaney,

Cm. Pat Kernighan,

Cm. Desley Brooks,

Cm. Larry Reid,

Cm. Rebecca Kaplan,


Email block (copy and paste):,,,,,,,


Sample message (please personalize your message in order to make it even more effective):


Dear Councilmember,


As an Oakland citizen who cares about animals and public safety, I urge you to vote yes to establish permit requirements for circuses. 


Animals used in circuses are subjected to unnatural and extreme conditions, such as intensive confinement in small cages, prolonged travel in trucks and train cars, inhumane training, and the inability to express natural behaviors. These conditions threaten animal welfare and, due to the great stress the animals endure, present a threat to public safety.


I applaud this necessary first step, and I urge you to consider establishing even stronger protections for performing animals, as has been done in more than 30 other progressive municipalities in the United States.


Thank you for your leadership on this important issue.



(your name)



Please forward this alert to anyone you might know from the Oakland, California, area.


For more information, please contact Catherine Doyle at or call 323-301-5730.



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Performing Animal Welfare Society 
P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632 | (209) 745-2606 |