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Expert Must Assess Animals Traveling With Notorious Cole Bros. Circus, Says
For Immediate Release:November 08, 2012
Contact:David Perle 202-483-7382
St. Lucie, Flo. --Today, PETA
sent a letter to Port St. Lucie County commissioners urging them to enlist the
services of an expert in exotic animals to assess the Cole Bros. Circus, which
is scheduled to perform in Port St. Lucie from November 15 to 18. The circus,
which no longer holds its own exhibitor's license, leases animals from the
Carson & Barnes Circus and the Hawthorn Corporation, which both have
deplorable records of animal care.
After PETA filed two complaints with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture regarding the physical safety and psychological well-being of two
elephants with Cole Bros. Circus, the circus agreed to
pay a $15,000 penalty to settle more than 10 charges. Carson & Barnes also
recently paid a penalty for 10 violations related to elephants, and its
employees have been repeatedly caught on video beating elephants. A
veterinarian who recently inspected the animals observed lesions consistent
with the use of bullhooks. The tigers used by the circus are leased from the
Hawthorn Corporation, which has a record of violating federal law going back
city can ensure that inspections actually mean something by letting an
independent expert assess the animals used by Cole Bros. Circus," says
PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders.
"And people can ensure that they aren't supporting the abuse of animals by
refusing to buy a ticket."
information, please visit PETA.org.
letter to Port St. Lucie commissioners follows.
November 8, 2012
Bryan Lloyd, Crew LeaderCity of Port St. Lucie Animal Control1133 S.W. S. Macedo Blvd.Port St. Lucie, FL 34983
Dear Mr. Lloyd:
I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals (PETA) and its more than 3 million member and supporters. I was glad to
learn that the City of Port St. Lucie is taking seriously its duties to enforce
animal control ordinances and is prepared to ensure that the animals arriving
with Cole Bros. Circus ("Cole Bros.") are not abused and are provided
with basic necessities while in your city. In the spirit of your commitment to
ensuring the well-being of the animals, please take the following into
First and foremost, I strongly urge Port St. Lucie animal
control to enlist an independent exotic-animal expert to assist with
inspections of the animals used in Cole Bros. performances so that you are
supplied with current and unbiased information regarding the elephants' and
tigers' health and well-being.
Because Cole Bros. no longer has its own exhibitor's license,
it leases animal acts from other exhibitors. Currently, Carson &
Barnes Circus ("Carson & Barnes") is providing the elephant
act for the Cole Bros. show and the Hawthorn
Corporation ("Hawthorn") is providing the tigers. As detailed in
the linked factsheets, both of these companies have an extensive history of
chronic animal welfare violations.
Please also review the enclosed inspection report of
veterinarian Dr. Mel Richardson, who has worked with elephants, tigers, and
other exotic animals for more than four decades and who inspected the animals
with Cole Bros. at the end of September. Note that Dr. Richardson observed an
elephant who was suffering from lesions and lameness as well as tigers who were
kept in inadequately small transfer enclosures and denied adequate exercise.
Please be on the lookout for these and other animal welfare issues and ensure
that appropriate enforcement action is taken if city or state laws are
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter and for
your willingness to ensure the well-being of the animals arriving with Cole
Bros. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, if you'd like
assistance enlisting an independent expert, or with any other aspect of your
Very truly yours,
Delcianna WindersDirector of Captive Animal Law Enforcement
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.