Victory! Washington, D.C., Tells Circus: No Animal Shows

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

In a resounding victory for animals, PETA has learned that the notorious Garden Bros. Circus will be allowed to carry out its scheduled performances in Washington, D.C., this weekend with willing human participants only—no animals can be forced to perform. DC Health denied the circus an Exotic Animal Permit. Garden Bros. has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau, and its workers have been caught striking an elephant in the face with a bullhook, whipping a llama onstage, forcing lame elephants to give rides and perform tricks, denying veterinary care to wounded and injured animals, and more.

The owners of the circus are having a rocky start to the tour season:

  • After learning that Garden Bros. was headed to the Greenville Convention Center in South Carolina, PETA worked with the venue which committed to banning Garden Bros. and all other circuses from performing there with animals in the future.
  • The Antelope Valley Fair & Event Center in Lancaster, California, decided to skip Garden Bros. performances scheduled there.
  • The Board of Selectmen in Walpole, Massachusetts, denied Garden Bros. a permit to put on a show there after learning about the circus from caring local advocates and the Massachusetts SPCA, which used information supplied by PETA.
  • With “Nosey’s Law” newly in effect in New Jersey, Garden Bros. won’t be able to force elephants and camels to perform in the Garden State. Authorities notified Garden Bros. that its advertising in the state depicts prohibited animals and rides and appears to violate the law. The letter goes on to tell the circus to update its materials immediately and inform consumers who have already bought tickets that the show will not have wild and exotic animals.

We’re glad the venues and localities above have joined the long list of ones that have already canceled Garden Bros. shows, barred it from performing with animals, or banned all animal acts. Now, more than 650 retail venues prohibit or restrict circuses with animals, and that number will continue to grow.

Unless Garden Bros. drops animal acts permanently, PETA and advocates across the country will continue working to expose the circus and get its performances canceled. Tell Garden Bros. that you won’t buy a ticket to see abused animals being forced to do stupid tricks.

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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