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Notorious Animal Exhibitor Holds Kangaroo Boxing Matches in Violation of Commission Regulations, Says Group
For Immediate Release:July 14, 2011
Contact:David Perle 202-483-7382
Kissimmee, Fla. — PETA has sent a complaint to the Florida State Boxing Commission (FSBC) and the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation urging them to intervene to stop an apparently illegal traveling kangaroo boxing act in the midst of a multicity Florida tour. The Kissimmee-based act—called "Rocky Show Circus" and traveling with the Piccadilly Circus to Deland, Orlando, and Melbourne—is owned by animal exhibitor Javier Martinez, who has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including failure to provide adequate veterinary care and safe animal enclosures and failure to handle animals in a manner that does not cause behavioral stress or trauma. In the complaint, PETA points out that under FSBC regulations, the act must be sanctioned by FSBC-approved bodies and that all parties—including participants and trainers—must be licensed by the commission. PETA has investigated and turned up no evidence that the exhibit is licensed and reminds the commission that—if Martinez is licensed—he is in violation of numerous regulatory provisions.
"Forcing kangaroos to fight rowdy contestants is an act that should have gone out with the cruel carnivals and 'freak shows' of the early 20th century," says PETA Director Delcianna Winders. "Allowing cruel and illegal boxing matches between kangaroos and humans risks giving Florida a black eye."
At least two kangaroos used in Martinez's "boxing" act have died while touring with a circus, including one who died from complications of a deadly bacterial disease called "lumpy jaw," which can result from severe crowding, poor hygiene, poor diet, and stressful conditions. Martinez was aware of this kangaroo's condition but forced him to continue performing until he died. Since then, Martinez has continued to be cited by the USDA, including as recently as 2010, for failing to provide adequate veterinary care. Last year, following complaints from PETA activists, Kraft Foods canceled a Rocky Show Circus kangaroo boxing appearance that was scheduled to take place in Hidalgo, Texas.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
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.