Carson & Barnes, Kelly Miller Make PETA’s List of the Eight Worst Circuses in the U.S.

Beatings, Animal Escapes Earn Dishonor for Cruel Circuses

For Immediate Release:
May 14, 2015

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Hugo, Okla. – Step right up, ladies and gentlemen: If you want cruelty to animals and public endangerment, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—can tell you where to find it, in the form of its first-ever list of the Top Eight Worst Circuses in the U.S. Two Hugo-based circuses have made the list: Carson & Barnes Circus—which continues to employ trainer Tim Frisco, who was caught on camera viciously striking elephants and electro-shocking them—at number three and, at number five, Kelly Miller Circus, at whose performance an eyewitness testified in 2013 that he or she observed a handler beat an elephant until the animal screamed.

“Elephant beatings, dangerous animal escapes, and animal neglect are all part of Carson & Barnes and Kelly Miller circuses,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA’s message to families is that if you care about animals or your children’s safety, you should never buy a ticket to Carson & Barnes, Kelly Miller, or any other circus that uses animals.”

Kelly Miller has leased elephants from Carson & Barnes, which has racked up more than 100 animal-welfare violations. In January, an inspection report revealed even more violations at Carson & Barnes, including that an elephant named Nina was denied adequate veterinary care despite rapidly losing more than 500 pounds in a year and that a hippopotamus languished for months until she finally died. Just this week, PETA called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate and determine whether Nina’s denial of care led to her untimely death. A tiger exhibitor with Kelly Miller was cited last year for keeping tigers in filthy, tiny enclosures, and both circuses have a history of endangering the public: Last year, three elephants from Carson & Barnes ran amok for nearly an hour. In 2011, three tigers escaped at Kelly Miller and were not safely recaptured until nearly 30 minutes later. One escaped tiger bit a horse.

The circuses rounding out PETA’s list include Ringling Bros., UniverSoul Circus, Cole Bros. Circus, George Carden Circus International, the Shrine circuses, and Jordan World Circus.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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