to spot signs of abuse, illness, and improper safety procedures is crucial to
protecting both animals and the public. Topics covered in the guide include
recognizing lameness, physical abuse (including bullhook wounds that have been
covered up), and abnormal types of behavior in elephants; how to inspect
elephants' feet; recognizing pressure wounds and other conditions caused by
captivity; how to determine if elephants' living conditions are adequate;
common signs of contagious tuberculosis in elephants; and the importance of
ensuring that law enforcement personnel have a contingency plan in case an
PETA has developed a guide, to assist local authorities with inspecting elephants. The guide contains
information on monitoring unloading and performances, checking for signs of
illness and injury, looking for evidence of abuse and neglect, and reviewing
basic husbandry. Complete the form below to order copies of the guide or review the links below.
PETA also offers a videotape that includes undercover footage of standard
training practices by the circus industry. In the video, a circus trainer
attacks elephants with a sharp, metal bullhook and instructs other trainers to
inflict pain by sinking the hook into their flesh until the elephant screams.
While trainers are careful to conceal these beatings from the public,
authorities who closely monitor animals before, during, and after performances
may observe abusive use of the bullhook and other mistreatment or find evidence
of cruelty, such as puncture wounds.
Additionally, PETA maintains factsheets on
numerous circuses that list their history of Animal Welfare Act violations as
well as other problems. These factsheets may be helpful in highlighting areas
of particular concern.
Because of heightened public awareness and evidence of routine mistreatment in
circuses, local authorities across the country are giving greater scrutiny to
circuses. As a result, enforcement agencies that monitor circuses commonly find
violations of municipal codes and humane laws.
Be prepared. Browse the following pages for
information regarding circus inspections:
"Basic Tips Inspecting Elephants in Circuses" guide is specially
written to help animal control officers, humane investigators, state wildlife
agents, and other law enforcement officials know what to look for when
the form below to order a free copy—before
the circus comes to town.
All fields in bold are mandatory.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.