MasterCard Cancels Controversial Sponsorship of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

January 2004

MasterCard joins Sears, Roebuck, and Co. and Visa to become the third national sponsor to end its Ringling promotions amid a flood of complaints. PETA had written to the credit-card giant describing Ringling’s record of tragic animal deaths, USDA investigations, penalties, and warnings and recently sent MasterCard’s president and board of directors undercover videotape showing screaming, terrified elephants being viciously attacked with sharp metal bullhooks and electric prods during behind-the-scenes circus training sessions.

To watch the undercover video footage, visit

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind