Cumberland-Bound Circus Ranks Number Five on PETA’s List of Eight Worst Circuses

Eyewitnesses Report That Handler Beat Elephant at Kelly Miller

For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2015

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Cumberland, Md. – A day under the big top is no fun for the animals used by Kelly Miller Circus, which is scheduled to perform this week in Cumberland. A handler traveling with the notoriously cruel outfit beat an elephant until the animal screamed, as reported by an eyewitness who testified to this in 2013. Kelly Miller recently claimed the number five spot on PETA’s list of the Top Eight Worst Circuses in the U.S. All these circuses have high rates of cruelty to animals and public endangerment.

“Animals do not stand on their hind legs, balance on balls, or ride bicycles without the constant threat of violent punishment behind the scenes,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA encourages families to spare animals a lifetime of suffering by never purchasing a ticket to Kelly Miller or any other circus that still subjects animals to the misery of life on the road.”

Kelly Miller has leased elephants from Carson & Barnes Circus—the number three circus on PETA’s list—which continues to employ trainer Tim Frisco, who was caught on camera viciously striking elephants and electro-shocking them. In January, an inspection report revealed even more violations at Carson & Barnes, including that an elephant named Nina had been denied adequate veterinary care, despite rapidly losing more than 500 pounds in a year, and that a hippopotamus had languished for months in a visible state of decline—both animals ultimately died. A tiger exhibitor with Kelly Miller was cited last year for keeping tigers in filthy, tiny enclosures, and both circuses have histories of endangering the public: Last year, three elephants from Carson & Barnes ran amok for nearly an hour, for which the circus is now facing charges from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And in 2011, three tigers escaped from Kelly Miller and weren’t safely recaptured until nearly 30 minutes later. One escaped tiger bit a horse.

The circuses rounding out the list by PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—include Ringling Bros., UniverSoul Circus, Cole Bros. Circus, George Carden Circus International, Shrine circuses, and Jordan World Circus.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“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