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Evidence Supplied by PETA of Physical and Psychological Threats to Two Elephants Leads to Government Action
Contact:David Perle 202-483-7382
Fla. — After PETA filed two complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) regarding the physical safety and psychological well-being of two
elephants with Cole Bros. Circus, the circus has agreed to pay a $15,000
penalty to the USDA to settle formal charges against the circus, which is
scheduled to perform in Lakeland from November 5 to 7. The charges came after
PETA pointed out that two elephants, Tina and Jewel, were hundreds of pounds
underweight and had been deprived of adequate veterinary care, including for a
protruding spine. They were also sent to an unlicensed exhibitor with a long
history of violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Cole Bros. has settled more
than 10 charges with the USDA, including failure to provide the elephants
with adequate veterinary care and failure to hire personnel capable of caring
2009, the USDA felt that the case was so serious that the agency confiscated
Jewel and also removed Tina. Even so, Cole Bros. continues to use other
elephants in old-fashioned circus acts. It now uses an elephant act supplied by
Carson & Barnes. The act includes elephant trainer Tim Frisco, who was caught on camera viciously
beating terrified elephants and shocking them with electric prods. Carson &
Barnes also just paid a fine for 10 violations of the AWA, including for
allowing an elephant to get loose and leaving animals unattended during
elephant rides at Cole Bros. performances. In one instance, a handler left six
children on an elephant and walked away to talk on his cell phone.
USDA's actions against Cole Bros. and Carson & Barnes should put all animal
circuses on notice that, sooner or later, they must pay for animal abuse,"
says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna
Winders. "Since children love animals, the last
place that parents and grandparents should take them is the circus."
USDA's original complaint against Cole Bros.—filed after the USDA was contacted
by PETA and In Defense of Animals—and the settlement agreement are available
upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
list of the violations named in the charges follows.
of the Animal Welfare Act for which Cole Bros. Circus was ordered to pay a
$15,000 penalty include the following:
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.