$10K Reward Offered for Video Leading to Conviction of Elephant Abusers

Ohio's Ban Against Cruel Prods and Similar Devices Prohibits Kelly Miller Circus From Using Bullhooks on Elephants

For Immediate Release:
July 29, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Toledo, Ohio – PETA is offering a $10,000 reward for video evidence leading to the conviction of anyone with the Kelly Miller Circus caught violating Ohio’s ban on the use of painful prods and similar devices while the circus is in Point Place starting August 7. The move comes after an eyewitness provided a sworn statement that an elephant was beaten with a bullhook—a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp steel hook on one end—while the Kelly Miller Circus was in Point Place last year.

According to the sworn testimony, last August a handler for the Carson & Barnes Circus—which supplies the elephant acts for Kelly Miller—beat an elephant with four children on her back until she screamed. The witness reported that the device used to beat the animal appeared to be a bullhook, the standard weapon that circuses use to keep elephants submissive and afraid.

“PETA’s motto says, in part, that ‘animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way,’ and we need the public’s help to make sure that elephants are not cruelly and illegally beaten in Ohio,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “Since circuses routinely hit elephants with these weapons, everyone should be ready with their cell phones so that abusers can face the consequences.”

Carson & Barnes’ head elephant trainer was caught on camera beating terrified elephants with a bullhook and shocking them with electric prods. The circus’s rap sheet of more than 100 Animal Welfare Act violations also includes a recent fine for 10 separate incidents, including for endangering the public while with Kelly Miller. Carson & Barnes was also cited after an inspector observed a handler using excessive force with a bullhook on an elephant on several occasions.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.


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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