City Council Praised for Unanimous Support for Ban on Cruel Circuses That Use Animals

Plan to Draft Ordinance Comes After PETA Alerted Council to Beatings, Other Abuse of Animals by Eureka Springs–Bound Carson & Barnes Circus

For Immediate Release:
October 21, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Eureka Springs, Ark.

This morning, PETA sent a letter and a box of delicious elephant-shaped vegan chocolates to the members of the Eureka Springs City Council thanking them for their unanimous decision to begin drafting a new ordinance that, once finalized, would ban circuses that use animals from performing in the city. The vote comes just weeks after PETA sent a letter alerting the council that the Carson & Barnes Circus, which is scheduled to appear in the city in November, has a history of beating and electro-shocking elephants in order to force them to perform as well as abusing other animals.

“Kind people are appalled by the thought of a circus such as Carson & Barnes chaining, beating, and shocking elephants and other animals in their city,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA looks forward to seeing Eureka Springs join the progressive cities across the U.S. that have taken a firm stand against cruel circuses that profit off animals’ suffering.”

PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” has gathered extensive video and photographic evidence showing circus trainers and handlers as they beat or jab elephants, including babies, with bullhooks—weapons that resemble fireplace pokers with a sharp metal hook on one end. Undercover video footage also shows a Carson & Barnes trainer instructing another would-be handler to beat elephants with a bullhook, telling him, “Tear that foot off! Sink it in the foot! Tear it off! Make ’em scream!”

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PETA’s letter to the Eureka Springs City Council follows.



October 21, 2014


The Honorable Morris Pate, Mayor
The Honorable Mickey Schneider, Council Member
The Honorable David Mitchell, Council Member
The Honorable James Devito, Council Member
The Honorable Dee Purkeypile, Council Member
The Honorable Terry McClung, Council Member
The Honorable Joyce Zeller, Council Member
Eureka Springs City Council


Dear Mayor Pate and Council Members Schneider, Mitchell, Devito, Purkeypile, McClung, and Zeller:

On behalf of PETA, its more than 3 million members and supporters, and animals everywhere, I want to thank you for your unanimous vote to draft a city ordinance that will ban circuses from using live animals in performances in Eureka Springs.

Progressive cities such as Eureka Springs that are proactive in their decision-making help us move toward ending the abuse and exploitation of animals used in entertainment. As you heard residents say at your City Council meeting, people are growing more and more aware and intolerant of the reality of what goes on under the big top. Compassionate municipalities such as Eureka Springs are listening to their constituents and making changes. Each time that a city refuses to support the abuse of animals used in circuses is a victory.

We contacted you earlier this month regarding Carson & Barnes’ November performance and the well-documented history of animal abuse by this circus—and virtually all circuses that use animals. I’m hopeful that our outreach helped facilitate the dialog among City Council members that ultimately led to your decision to put the ordinance in place. Thank you for considering our original letter and the information that we provided and for deciding to join other progressive cities around the country in refusing to support cruel animal acts. We are sending you some delicious vegan elephant-shaped chocolates as a token of our appreciation. Please share our gratitude with all Eureka Springs city officials who contributed to this decision.

Very truly yours,

Delcianna Winders, Esq.
Deputy General Counsel | Captive Animal Law Enforcement
PETA Foundation

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