Victory! Cruel Treatment of Animals Gets Circus Canceled

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

Piccadilly Circus has a long, sordid history of cruelty to animals. So when the New York Equestrian Center scheduled a performance by the circus, representatives from animal protection group Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION) presented the center with loads of information about Piccadilly’s pervasive abuse and neglect of animals.

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LION shared with the event’s organizers a firsthand report of blatant animal abuse that a whistleblower had given to PETA. The New York Equestrian Center changed its mind and canceled the performance. LION and PETA sent the center a letter of thanks and a box of vegan chocolates

Hopefully, the New York Equestrian Center will never agree to host Piccadilly Circus again after hearing the whistleblower’s long list of allegations, including the following:

  • General Manager Zach Garden beat a zebra with a metal-tipped rod until the animal screamed and fell to the ground.
  • Garden hit a camel in the eye with the handle of a whip, causing the animal’s eye to bleed.
  • After a baby goat was injured in a transportation accident and left paralyzed, Garden told employees to leave the animal in the woods to die.
  • Garden also instructed an employee to carry a gravely ill sheep into the woods, cut the tag from his ear, and leave him to die.

The whistleblower’s allegations have since been confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which issued multiple citations against Piccadilly after PETA filed a complaint.

What You Can Do

People often choose not to support cruelty to animals when they are presented with information about it. Contact PETA for help getting circus performances canceled in your area.

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“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