PETA Calls On Farmington Dragway to Ban Lewis & Clark Circus' Animal Acts
For Immediate Release:
July 20, 2017
David Perle 202-483-7382
Winston-Salem, N.C. – In the wake of reports that an animal handler for the Lewis & Clark Circus had to be airlifted to a shock trauma center after being attacked by a camel while at a fair in Maryland, PETA fired off a letter today to Farmington Dragway calling on the venue to ensure that the circus’s upcoming performance is animal-free.
In its letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that the camel incident is just the latest example of Lewis & Clark Circus’ longstanding disregard for public safety and animal welfare. Its lengthy list of federal animal-welfare violations includes failing to provide two goats with adequate veterinary care a week after they were attacked by a dog; transporting a camel in a trailer that had exposed electrical wires and an uncovered light fixture; transporting a camel in a trailer that was too small to allow the animal to hold his or her head up normally; failing to provide a camel, who was tied up to a trailer, with enough space to turn around or lie down; and leaving animals tied up outdoors without shelter during a thunderstorm.
“Camels and other animals suffer tremendously when they’re hauled around the country in hot trailers and forced to give rides and perform confusing tricks under the threat of a whip,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on Farmington Dragway to protect animals and the public by banning this irresponsible outfit’s dangerous and archaic animal acts.”
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to Farmington Dragway follows.
Dear Ms. Collins,
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide regarding Lewis & Clark Circus. In light of long-standing concerns related to public safety as well as abuse and neglect with this exhibitor, as evidenced by numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), I urge you to consider these facts carefully and require that scheduled performances of this cruel circus go forward without animals.
Last week, an animal handler had to be airlifted to a trauma center after he was trampled and bitten by a camel while the circus—which offers camel rides—was performing in Maryland. The animal apparently became upset while being moved and attacked the handler.
That incident is only the most recent example of Lewis & Clark’s disregard for the public’s safety and animals’ welfare.
Two years ago, the circus received an official warning from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for several citations—among them, failing to provide two goats, who were limping because of a dog attack the previous week, with adequate veterinary care; transporting a camel in a trailer that was too small for the animal to hold his or her head up normally; failing to provide a camel, who was tied up to a trailer, with enough space to turn around or lie down; and transporting a camel in a trailer that had exposed electrical wires and an uncovered light fixture. The USDA has also cited the circus for leaving animals tied up outdoors without shelter during a thunderstorm.
When Lewis & Clark operated as Hendricks Bros. Circus, it was cited for a repeat violation for failing to handle goats and tigers safely—the goats were tied up without shade or protection from the public, and the tigers were left unattended—and failing to provide adequate safety barriers around tiger and goat enclosures. It was also cited for failing to modify a tiger enclosure that was not secure enough and potentially not high enough to contain the animals.
These are only a few of the serious AWA violations racked up by Lewis & Clark Circus. I encourage you to review the entirety of its atrocious record. May I please hear from you as soon as possible as to what action you will be taking? Our members and supporters are awaiting an update. Thank you for your careful consideration.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals