Panel Discussion About Ringling Circus on "Talking Animals"
Every year since we launched "Talking Animals" in Southern California in 2003, we've devoted at least one show annually to spotlighting the plight of the Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey circus animals, pegged to Ringling's local engagement.
Kind of a sad tradition, but a tradition nonetheless, and one we're extending here.
For the Jan. 2 edition of "Talking Animals,â€ I will convene a panel discussion about Ringling Bros, featuring two Florida activists who have protested the circus and plan to protest it during the Tampa engagement, which not coincidentally opens that very day, Jan. 2.
They are Suzanne House, board member of Florida Voices For Animals (FVA) and Bryan Wilson, Central Florida coordinator of Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF).
The panel will also feature Scott Blais, co-founder of The Elephant Sanctuary, in Hohenwald TN, whoâ€™s been managing and caring for Asian elephants (the type Ringling uses) for more than two decades, and whose pre-Sanctuary career included circus experience;
and Ringling spokesman Stephen Payne, who appears to be the chief spokesperson nationally for all Ringling circus matters. Payne is flying into Tampa Wednesday morning, arriving shortly after 11am, so the plan is for him to join the discussion shortly after he gets off the plane.
This panel discussion on Ringling will happen live on "Talking Animals" Jan. 2 at 11am ET, andâ€”time and circumstances permittingâ€”we hope to invite listeners to participate in the conversation by calling (813-239-9663) or e-mailing (DJ@wmnf.org).