Cross Creek Arena Threatens Circus Opponents

For Immediate Release:
March 2, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

The Garden Bros. Circus is headed to Wingate next week, so PETA sent letters to Cross Creek Arena representative Jay Brown last month to request respectfully that he ask the circus to perform without animals. While numerous venues across the country have canceled Garden Bros. performances after learning about the circus’s exhibitors’ history of abusing animals and violating the law, Brown ignored PETA’s letters—and when PETA members and supporters started politely writing to him this week, he responded with threats, such as the following: “Show your face and I’ll show you abuse,” “I guess it’s open season on y’all now come on my property again and you will be dealt with,” and, repeatedly, “F*** off.” Screenshots of the correspondence are available here.

“Circuses like Garden Bros. drag chained-up animals across the country and bully them into performing tricks that are uncomfortable and even painful,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “The Cross Creek Arena should be rejecting this cruel animal acts, not threatening the concerned citizens who oppose it.”

PETA noted in its letters to Brown that Garden Bros. leases the elephant acts in its shows from the notorious Carson & Barnes Circus, which paid a $16,000 fine last year to settle a lawsuit brought under the federal Animal Welfare Act related to an incident in which three elephants ran amok. Garden Bros.’ history of animal-welfare violations includes failing to notice and treat bloody wounds on a camel’s legs, among other incidents. In 2013, an eyewitness reported seeing circus manager Zachary Garden viciously strike a zebra with a 3-foot-long stick.

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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