Activists from Yaroslavl have launched an online survey to find out the attitude of Russians to circuses with animals. They hope to collect 1,500 responses by April 19. As of March 22, 1,100 people have participated in the survey, 800 of them are from Yaroslavl. Artur Stazhkov, the initiative group's leader, reported this to 7x7.
The activists believe the circus shows should feature people, rather than be based on the suffering of trained animals. At the second stage of the information campaign, on March 20, they launched an online survey, with the help of which they are going to find out how Russians and, in particular, people from Yaroslavl feel about performances of animals in circuses.
"The real goal of our campaign is to win over doubters who are neutral about performances with animals," Artur Stazhkov stated on his Instagram account.
The survey asks you to fill in three boxes (full name, age, hometown) and choose the answer to the question "What is your attitude to circuses with animals?". "Positive", "neutral", "negative" are the options.
"Of course, it is impossible to influence state decisions, so I personally do not believe that circuses with animals will be closed all over Russia in the coming years. We have chosen a different path — to form the basic foundation of civil society in the face of such an important problem. It is necessary to tell those who do not have any opinion about these shows that the animals are not there by choice in most cases," Stazhkov explained to 7x7’s correspondent.
At the next stage, in April, activists are going to conduct a survey on the streets of the city.
Stazhkov decided to protest against circuses with animals in 2019 after watching videos with the attack of circus animals on tamers and the audience. The Real Lentach Community published another similar video on March 21: in Kazan, two elephants fought during a show and almost crushed the audience.
"Only then I watched Vita’s investigations, Redaktsiya’s film and dozens, if not hundreds, of articles about the pros and cons of circuses. I thought it over for a year and concluded that the circus is actually inhumane for animals," said Stazhkov and showed a photo of his dog. "I am working on this project as a person who really loves his dog Nyukhlya."
He says that the initiative group does not cooperate with any animal protection organizations yet, but is open to suggestions. The activists hope that like-minded people join them in solving other problems of the city and the country.
On March 3, activists from Yaroslavl published a video in which they protested against circuses with animals. They suggested boycotting such shows. The video has collected more than 10 thousand views. The video was recorded by deputy of the Yaroslavl Regional Duma Artyom Denisov, cinema entrepreneur Andrei Alekseev, choreographer Alexander Kovalenko, musician Tanya Shiltsina, singer-songwriter Vladislav Poryvkin, videographer Anton Povshedny, and member of the Union of Architects of Russia Natalya Vyatkina.