A year-long debate on whether Douglas County commissioners should tighten regulations on exotic animals and traveling circuses may end Wednesday with a vote.
"I think this boils down to banning exotic animals with circuses or not," Douglas County Commission Chairman Charles Jones said Monday. "I couldn't say what the outcome will be. But I think we ought to vote on it."
County residents involved with agriculture are concerned a ban on circuses with exotic animals could cause problems for shows involving domestic animals.
"I think our concern is what it would do to the fair and rodeos," said Douglas County resident Jan Hornberger. "I also have a problem with the revenue the county could potentially lose. If the circus isn't here, it would go to Shawnee County or Johnson County."
Animal Outreach of Kansas members want the commission to ban traveling circuses with exotic animals, such as lions, bears and elephants, from holding shows in the county.
"We're not trying to ban circuses in general," said Ann Wilson, a member of Animal Outreach of Kansas. "We've had some circuses come to town that just have the ponies, dogs and potbelly pigs. Those circuses are fine. It's the ones with tigers and elephants that we take issue with and that we would like to see the commission ban."
The Wednesday meeting begins at 6:35 p.m. and will be at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.