Council to ponder banning Animal Exhibitions and Performances


As a recent circus that came to town last month, prompted questions regarding the City’s bylaw on circuses using animals for performances, council will be asked to add domesticated animals to the list.

A motion by Ward 3 councillor Judy Hupponen and seconded by Ward 3 Matthew Shoemaker is calling for the ban of domestic animals such as dogs to be added to the bylaw that currently bans circuses using exotic animals from coming to the Sault.

The motion reads;

Whereas a by-law to prohibit wild or exotic animal exhibitions and
performances in the City of Sault Ste. Marie was passed November 19, 2012;

Whereas not included in the list of animals in Schedule “A” to by-law 2012-
2013, are domestic animals such has horses and dogs; and

Whereas travelling circuses claim that “positive reinforcement” is the method
of training the animals used to entertain an audience; and

Whereas “positive reinforcement” for animals being trained in a circus endure
varying levels of punishment, neglect and deprivation, with limited access to
food and water; and

Whereas touring circuses cover thousands of miles a year, carrying animals
from site to site in transports and cages with their only respite being
rehearsals or performing; and
Whereas an animal is an animal regardless of whether it is classified as
domestic or exotic;

Now Therefore Be It Resolved that the existing by-law be amended to include
wild, exotic or domestic.

Council will discuss the matter at the next regular council meeting June 12.


  1. The main problem I see is the lack of specificity in the proposed by-law when there are a wide variety of event types that include the use of domesticated animals. There is a big difference between a CKC dog show (or a horse show at Strathclair) versus a circus event. I actually support banning anything that has “circus” in its name or concept, be it with exotic animals or domestic. This by-law doesn’t differentiate, though, and it needs to.

  2. Concentrate on the important stuff like getting rid of one Councillor per ward, hold off on the city hall face lift, put a hold on all studies, etc.
    You are being complacent just like Frank Fata said. It’s going to come back to bite you (US)

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