Animal-Rights Activists and Elephants Score a Victory With Margate Commission

The Cole Brothers Circus will still be rolling through Margate this year, but the scores of residents and animal-rights activists that showed up to last night's City Commission meeting may have prevented it from happening again.

After presenting the case to the commission about Cole Brothers' lengthy history of mistreating animals -- specifically elephants -- the commission agreed to place an item on the next meeting's agenda to ban instruments like bull hooks and electric prods that are used to mistreat the animals.

"This circus will still go on, but in the future, if they use or have those instruments, they can't come into the city," Margate Mayor Pam Donovan tells the Pulp.

In the email from the mayor we posted yesterday, it didn't sound too promising for those trying to ban the circus from Margate.

Donovon said the commission "cannot regulate every wrong thing in the world or we would not allow anything in our city," but a different tone came out of at least one commissioner after last night's meeting.

Here's what Commissioner Lesa Peerman wrote today in the comments section of our previous post on the issue:

The activist spoke well, presented their case respectfully and the Mayor suggested putting on the agenda to not allow bullhooks or the electric prodding thingey in the city of Margate. The speakers gave us an option, one we could work with. There was not anything we could do about this year but I am pretty sure that a circus with "wild" animals will not be coming to Margate in the future.

Animal-rights activist Ana Campos tells us in an email that what happened at last night's meeting was "shocking" (in all-caps with two exclamation points) and thanked the mayor and commission for being "incredibly gracious" and "open-minded."

"We had over ten speakers, 60 people who showed up, and over 100 called and emailed City Hall!" she says. "Our voices mattered! This is proof."

Follow The Pulp on Facebook and on Twitter: @ThePulpBPB. Follow Matthew Hendley on Facebook and on Twitter: @MatthewHendley.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley