Following a PETA complaint, which alerted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that Bunnie, an elephant used by Hugo, Oklahoma-based Carson & Barnes Circus, appeared stiff when walking, the USDA cited the circus for failing to provide her with adequate veterinary care.
According to the July 2 inspection report, which just became publicly available, Carson & Barnes’ staff had failed to notice or do anything to remedy Bunnie’s consistently recurring, apparently painful leg condition. The USDA ordered the circus to pay better attention to the elephants’ needs and ensure that a veterinarian treats Bunnie.
“Carson & Barnes is notorious for forcing ailing animals to travel and perform despite unrelieved pain and suffering,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “Its disregard for animals’ well-being is why PETA urges people to stay away from circuses that exploit animals.”
The USDA recently fined Carson & Barnes $16,000 for willful violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including an incident in which in three elephants reportedly ran amok for 45 minutes after becoming frightened when performers asked the audience to stomp on metal bleachers and create other loud noises. Other recent violations include allowing a hippo and an elephant to languish for months and lose weight at an alarming rate. Both animals ultimately died.
What You Can Do
Never buy a ticket to an animal circus, and spread the word to family and friends.