Civic Arena Bans Cruel Animal Circuses After PETA Appeal

Chronic Lawbreakers Included in Ban, Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates Sent in Thanks for Compassionate Decision

For Immediate Release:
October 4, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Hastings, Minn. – The Hastings Civic Arena has just confirmed that it will no longer host animal circuses, after learning from PETA that the animals are kept in shackles and forced to perform under the threat of being beaten, whipped, or shocked with electric prods.

Previously, the arena had hosted the Carden International Circus—one of several companies run by members of the Carden family that exhibit elephants, camels, and other animals. Carden family members have been cited for numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including for failing to provide an elephant who had open wounds with veterinary care, for failing to provide tigers with proper nutrition, and for confining tigers to a small transport cage 23 hours a day. The Cardens also have histories of endangering the public, including when two elephants escaped during a performance in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and ran amok, injuring a child.

“Today’s public has zero tolerance for businesses that use emotionally complex wild animals as money-making machines, and as Ringling Bros. circus shut down earlier this year, Hastings Civic Arena’s kind decision is right on trend,” says PETA Foundation Captive Animal Law Enforcement Associate Director Rachel Mathews. “PETA urges venues nationwide to follow Hastings’ lead and support only circuses that feature amazing acrobats, clowns, and other willing human performers exclusively.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that elephants, lions, bears, and other wild animals used in circuses and other exhibits are often torn away from their mothers as babies and confined for long stretches to filthy cages or trailers. Trainers force these animals to perform confusing and uncomfortable tricks by whipping, shocking, or gouging them with bullhooks—weapons resembling fireplace pokers with a sharp metal hook on one end. Animals used for entertainment commonly suffer from chronic health problems and psychological disorders, and many die prematurely.

Hastings Civic Arena joins more than 620 venues nationwide that have prohibited cruel animal acts. A thank-you gift of delicious vegan chocolates—in the shape of lines of elephants—is on its way to the arena from PETA.

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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