$2,000 Offer to Heath Kiwanis Club to Adopt Animal-Friendly Fundraising

PETA Praises Organization for Canceling Circus Acts and Offers Funds for Animal-Free Fundraising Policy

For Immediate Release:
July 13, 2017

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Newark, Ohio – Today, PETA sent a letter to the Heath Moundbuilders Kiwanis Club with an offer to donate $2,000 to help with its fundraising efforts on the condition that it implement a policy against using animal-based entertainment to raise funds. PETA’s offer comes with congratulations to the club for canceling a Carson & Barnes Circus performance last week following opposition from a Newark City Council member who had read the long history of the circus’s violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. They include failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care, minimum space, shelter from the elements, and clean water as well as public endangerment. In 2016, the circus paid a $16,000 fine to settle a federal lawsuit after three elephants became frightened, escaped from a performance, and ran amok for nearly an hour. Just weeks ago, an elephant escaped from the circus again.

“The Kiwanis club made a good decision to refuse space to the cruel Carson & Barnes Circus, which is on record as having beaten, whipped, and electrically shocked animals into performing confusing and even painful tricks,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “Now PETA urges the club to pledge to employ only animal-free fundraising.”

In its letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—informs the Heath Moundbuilders Kiwanis Club that Carson & Barnes, like all circuses that exploit elephants, uses bullhooks (weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end) to beat and intimidate the animals into performing tricks. As a result of growing public opposition to using exotic animals for entertainment, Carson & Barnes has canceled its entire summer tour, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has shut down, and more than 600 primarily retail venues across the U.S. have prohibited circuses and other exhibits that use wild animals.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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