The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the largest organization in the U.S. dedicated to advancing the rights of Latinos. PETA is the largest organization in the world dedicated to advancing the rights of animals, so the two nonprofits have a lot in common.
PETA Latino has helped turned the tide in raising awareness for animal rights in Latin American communities worldwide, and has led in bringing victories for many animals, including putting an end to Paraguay’s cruel ‘shackle and hoist’ kosher slaughter method and abolishing an annual Peruvian festival in which a dog is tied to the back of a bucking bull before both are viciously slaughtered.
Today, PETA and LULAC can add one more common trait to the list: standing up for animals who are abused in circuses.
When the LULAC chapter in Taos, New Mexico, hosted the Carson & Barnes Circus as a community event and fundraiser last month, PETA reached out to the group with loads of information that it was unaware of and detailed some of the circus’s most egregious cruelty to animals, including the following:
- Carson & Barnes has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
- The circus’s “animal care” director, Tim Frisco, has been caught on video beating elephants with bullhooks—sharp weapons resembling fireplace pokers—and shocking them with electric prods. Footage from just weeks ago shows him violently yanking the face and trunk of an elephant with a bullhook during a performance. An audience member at a recent show in Pennsylvania—for which the circus provided the elephant act—photographed an elephant with open, ulcerated injuries consistent with puncture wounds.
- There are numerous circuses that use only willing human performers that tour across the country and provide quality entertainment without contributing to animal suffering.
The Taos LULAC president met with PETA and then with his own group’s members, and they unanimously agreed not to host another Carson & Barnes Circus unless it agreed to perform without animals. We sent the group a letter of thanks on behalf of our members and the animals held captive in circuses as well as a box of elephant-shaped vegan chocolates.
Cities, arenas, retail conglomerates, and civic organizations are all shunning circus cruelty as soon as they find out the big secrets behind the big top. And of course, last month, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shut down after 146 years of cruelty.
What You Can Do
Help us keep the victories coming. Ask Carson & Barnes to end its animal acts.