Fair Under Pressure From PETA to Cancel Cruel Bear Act

Washington County Fair to Host Bear Show Despite Repeat Citations for Inadequate Veterinary Care, Public Safety Concerns

For Immediate Release:
August 3, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Hurricane, Utah – After hearing that next week, the Washington County Fair plans to host The Great Bear Show—a traveling act run by notorious animal exhibitor Bob Steele that forces bears to perform meaningless, confusing, and often uncomfortable tricks such as rolling on a barrel—PETA sent a letter this morning informing the fair about Steele’s long list of violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and urging it to strike the tawdry show from the schedule.

PETA notes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Steele twice for failing to provide a bear named Barney with adequate medical care after the animal was documented scratching areas of hair loss on his neck, his face, and the sides of his body on two separate occasions that were more than a year apart. Steele has also been cited for failing to ensure the public’s safety around the bears.

“Bob Steele drags bears from town to town, intimidating them into performing tricks despite their apparent physical ailments and mental distress,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet. “PETA is urging everyone who cares about animals to skip the Washington County Fair as long as it insists on hosting this abusive outfit.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that bears in the wild are active for up to 18 hours a day, foraging for food, digging in the soft earth, and exploring diverse terrain. Those exploited in animal acts are often denied the opportunity to hibernate and are routinely restrained by chains or ropes and locked inside tiny transport cages, giving them no choice but to eat, drink, sleep, and relieve themselves all in the same place. Most bears in these unnatural conditions develop abnormal types of behavior, including rocking, walking in endless circles, and biting on the bars of their cages.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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