Letter: An Open Letter to Frank Fata

letter to the editor

An Open Letter to Sault Ste. Marie City Councillor Frank Fata;
re: Bylaw 2012-213 Proposed Amendment:

While it was frustrating and disheartening to listen to your comments during the council meeting that demonstrate a total lack of understanding of the Bylaw 2012-213 or the proposed amendment to the bylaw to also cover domestic animals from performing in CIRCUSES in Sault Ste. Marie, I want to clarify here, for you and others concerned citizens, that the bylaw and the proposed amendment is specific to CIRCUSES, (not dog shows or equestrian events etc.).

Travelling circuses cause unnecessary cruelty and suffering to animals forced to perform unnatural acts by training methods of abuse, whipping, physical punishment, deprivation of food and water and torture training methods.

Cruelty in circuses is inherent. Animals are confined in non temperature controlled travel trailers, confined to cages and tight quarters for extended periods of time without access to food or water or space to move around or even turn around, in extreme temperatures both hot and cold for 11 months or more per year.

With insufficient space, living the majority of their lives in trailers, with lack of exercise, restriction of their natural behaviours, confined in tight spaces, living solitary lives or crowed together, enduring lifetimes of physical abuse including electrical prods, whips, metal bars and being punched and kicked by trainers, they suffer severe health, behavioural and psychological problems.

Circus animals are not beloved pets and the abuse goes on daily behind the scenes out of public view. The animals are kept in dirty trailers and in awful filthy conditions when not being forced to perform. Many animals die at the hands of circus trainers.

The Bylaw 2012-213 and the proposed amendment is simply to bring Sault Ste. Marie into the 21st Century to join an ever growing long list of cities and municipalities WORLD WIDE that have stepped up to speak for animals that cannot speak for themselves to ban ANIMAL CIRCUSES and not condone the inherent abuse and horrific tortured lives of circus animals by allowing circus trainers and abusers to make money off of circus animals broken backs and spirits.

It is my belief the majority of residents of Sault Ste. Marie are intelligent, compassionate, caring people that would not tolerate nor want animal abusers in circuses to profit from circus performances by animals in our city, once they take the time to educate themselves on this important issue (as I strongly suggest you do also) and look behind the circus tent to see the endless suffering circus animals endure.

I for one will always speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves, and I hope you will too.

And by the way Frank Fata, I’m not a group or representing anything other than common sense, intelligence, decency and compassion that I trust most residents of Sault Ste. Marie would also stand for and speak up for once they know the facts and the reality behind the circus curtain.

Katherine G. MacRae


  1. Personal attacks aside, Mr. Fata does raise a good point, as does Katheryn. I won’t pretend to know all the bylaws, just the ones that affect my living arrangements. If we go as far to ban “all circuses”, will that include petting zoo’s? Although technically not a circus per say, it still entails animals that are technically kept in captivity for the publics enjoyment.

    With that being said I do agree with Katheryn in regards to travelling circuses. Not to throw the baby out with the bath water here, but alot of these ciruses have somewhat questionable practices. PR letter or not, the dogs are still caged during their travels, and I don’t see alot of open fields to graze on between circus showings.

  2. Katherine, thank you very much for your comments on the topic of animal abuse, primarily as it applies to travelling circuses. My point was simply that the report should be clear as to what animal performances should be abolished and which ones would be allowed to continued. Tom, thank you for your encouraging comments. I know I do have a tendency to ramble in my commentary. But, I do mean well. As for bri, I would suggest you might want to get off your sofa, lift yourself with the help of your arm rest and put your name on the ballot next October. You sound like a shoe in. Good luck.

  3. You make some very valid points that I can agree with but, right or wrong, everyone has an opinion and you can’t expect them all to agree with you, Mr. Fata included.
    I’ve attended only a few council meetings on other matters and found Mr. Fata to stand out from many of his peers in attempting to look out in a sensible way for the public purse and do what’s right without doing the easy, non controversial thing of following like a sheep.
    It all boils down to what you expect from a person elected to serve the city, if you want one who caves to your interests in the face of controversy, then expect the same in other situations.
    Ya, you may very passionately disagree with Fata on this occasion, but really … do you attack others similarly or do you follow council proceedings?

    I remember the grotto fiasco where numerous councillors should have been centred out for sheer stupidity because of the sheep complex.
    I remember the PUC incident when the PUC gave a $100,000 donation from monies that were paid by taxpayers for a specific purpose. Not only did council turn a blind eye but one councillor who was on the PUC board made the comment “had we known there was going to be such a fuss, we shouldn’t have gone public with this” without the media saying one iota.
    Sure, this was a very controversial subject but we live in Canada where we allow dissenting opinions without whipping the person.

  4. Do not count on Mr Fata “getting it”. He will continue to blabber away thinking he represents his constituents.HE should ask THEM what they really think. Most educated folks know that the reference is to these travelling side shows and not the annual and enjoyable dog shows. The circus type performances are what should be banned. Get educated Mr. Fata.

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