PETA Urges Families to Stay Away From Circuses That Use Animals, After Carson & Barnes Fined for Endangering the Public
For Immediate Release:
June 7, 2016
David Perle 202-483-7382
Altoona, Pa. – Carson & Barnes Circus—a notorious animal exhibitor that PETA has tracked for years—has agreed to pay $16,000 to settle a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the circus’s unsafe elephant handling. The lawsuit includes an April 14, 2014, incident in Altoona in which circus handlers allowed members of the public, including a child, to come into dangerous contact with elephants.
“Over and over, Carson & Barnes has endangered animals and the public and received mere slaps on the wrist from federal authorities,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA’s message to families is to stay away from all animal-exploiting circuses, where abuse and lax safety standards are the norm.”
The USDA’s lawsuit also includes a March 22, 2014, incident in St. Charles, Missouri, in which three elephants reportedly ran amok for 45 minutes after becoming “stressed” when performers asked the audience members to stomp on the metal bleachers and create other loud noises, placing the public in danger and causing the animals to sustain abrasions and lacerations.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that these incidents could have warranted a $60,000 fine had the case not been settled and that Carson & Barnes was previously fined $3,714 in 2012 for 10 violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including another elephant escape. Other recent violations include allowing a hippo and an elephant to languish for months, losing weight at an alarming rate. Both animals ultimately died.
For more information, please visit PETA’s blog.