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ALERT: August 10, 2015 public hearing on proposed ordinance to prohibit the display or performance of wild or exotic animals

The city of Missoula, MT is considering an ordinance which would prohibit displays or performances with wild or exotic animals.  The ordinance lists chimpanzees, monkeys, big cats, bears, and elephants among the prohibited animals.  (See attached document with ordinance language.)

Please contact the Missoula City Council members before August 10 with a short e-mail, phone call, or letter to let them know you OPPOSE this ordinance.  Encourage your friends and family to do the same – especially those who live in Montana or who have been to a circus or any sort of animal exhibit in Missoula.  Contact information for the City Council members is listed below.  Sample talking points for your correspondence are also included at the end of this alert, but please use your own words and your own experiences as a supporter of exotic animal displays/performances to politely express your opposition to this ordinance.

Thank you!

Missoula, MT City Council

General email for all Council members: council@ci.missoula.mt.us

Website with agendas, supporting documents, and links to individual Council members:

ci.missoula.mt.us/314/City-Council

Mailing Address: 435 Ryman Street, Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 552-6079

City Council members (12 total):

Marilyn Marler, President -  mmarler@ci.missoula.mt.us  -  (406) 544-7189
Bryan von Lossberg -  bvonlossberg@ci.missoula.mt.us  -  (406) 285-1857
Jason Wiener -  jwiener@ci.missoula.mt.us  -    (406) 542-3232
Adam Hertz -  ahertz@ci.missoula.mt.us  -  (406) 239-1865
Jordan Hess -  jhess@ci.missoula.mt.us -  (406) 552-4050
Alex Taft  -  ataft@ci.missoula.mt.us  -  (406) 218-8438
Emily Bentley  -  ebentley@ci.missoula.mt.us -  (406) 546-6552
Jon Wilkins -  jwilkins@ci.missoula.mt.us -  (406) 543-7952
Patrick Weasel Head -  pweaselhead@ci.missoula.mt.us -  (406) 370-6122
Annelise Hedahl  -  ahedahl@ci.missoula.mt.us -  (406) 546-6979
Mike O'Herron -  moherron@ci.missoula.mt.us  -  (406) 240-4199
Ed Childers -  echilders@ci.missoula.mt.us  -  (406) 728-3751

 Sample Talking Points

The following are suggestions for your correspondence in Missoula, but please use your own words, and you do not need to include every bullet point.  Please keep all correspondence respectful.

  • Politely tell the Missoula City Council that you are OPPOSED to the exotic animal ordinance and any measure that would prevent circuses and other exotic animal exhibitors from visiting Missoula.
  • Circus animals and other performing animals are well cared for and generally are healthier and live longer than their counterparts in zoos.
  • True animal experts know that a safe and secure environment is the only acceptable and successful method of training and handling any animal, including exotic and performing animals.
  • If any animal is being mistreated in any environment, then the right answer is to enforce existing laws and regulations to punish bad actors, as opposed to punishing an entire industry and the public who enjoy exotic animal displays.
  • Proponents of performing animal bans mischaracterize or misunderstand the facts about the training and handling of performing animals.

Most of the organizations that advocate such bans do so as part of a larger, animal rights agenda which opposes all or most human interaction with animals.

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