Chaining, Bullhooks Prompt PETA Protest of Notorious Circus
For Immediate Release:
June 20, 2018
David Perle 202-483-7382
Washington – What: A “crying elephant” will lead PETA supporters in a spirited demonstration outside UniverSoul Circus’ opening-night performance at National Harbor on Wednesday. The protesters will display a bullhook—a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end, which circus handlers use to threaten elephants into performing.
When: Thursday, June 21, 6 p.m. sharp
Where: The Plateau, at the intersection of Waterfront Street and St. George Boulevard, Oxon Hill
“It’s clear that today’s compassionate public has no interest in sitting through UniverSoul’s abusive animal acts,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on all wild-animal circuses still on the road to end cruel animal acts and modernize their shows by switching to using only willing human performers.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that an inspection of UniverSoul’s elephant exhibitor, Larry Carden, last year revealed that elephants with bruised feet were still being forced to stand on concrete and that one elephant’s wound had been covered up with a gray powder called Wonder Dust.
The largest U.S. circus, Ringling Bros., went out of business last year, citing the public’s changing attitude toward the use of animals as demonstrated by declining ticket sales. Kelly Miller Circus is now touring animal-free, and earlier this year, Stardust Circus removed its elephant acts, citing protests.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.