Court Throws Out Circus Exhibitor’s Lawsuit Against Feds

Court Throws Out Circus Exhibitor's Lawsuit Against Feds

For Immediate Release:
April 2, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Tampa, Fla. – A federal judge in Tampa has just dismissed notorious circus exhibitor Hawthorn Corporation’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a lawsuit that came about after PETA prompted the USDA to ban Balm, Florida–based Lancelot Ramos (aka “Lancelot Kollman”) from exhibiting animals under anyone’s license, including Hawthorn’s. Ramos had exhibited big cats with Hawthorn despite losing his exhibitor’s license in 2009. The USDA’s ban in turn led UniverSoul Circus to cancel its contract with Hawthorn to have Ramos exhibit big cats for a series of performances that would have begun in Tampa.

“The court’s decision is just. It is simply illegal for UniverSoul Circus to host an animal exhibitor whose USDA license was taken after the circus allowed at least one lion to die from physical abuse,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “Hawthorn’s desperation to prop up this illegal big-cat act shows a complete disregard for animals and the laws designed to protect them.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has posted the March 24 court decision on its website here.

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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