George Carden Circus International Lands Number Six Spot on PETA’s List of the Eight Worst Circuses in the U.S.

History of Animals Running Amok, Suffering Without Veterinary Care at Cruel Circus

For Immediate Release:
May 12, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Springfield, Mo. – Step right up, ladies and gentlemen: If you want cruelty to animals and public endangerment, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—can tell you where to find it, in the form of its first-ever list of the Top Eight Worst Circuses in the U.S. Springfield-based George Carden Circus International, which has a history of leaving animals to suffer from painful conditions, ranks number six on the list. George Carden Circus International is finally bowing to public pressure to end the use of elephants in its shows by 2019 but has no plans to stop using tigers or other animals.

“Elephant escapes, chronic animal neglect, and putting workers and the public at risk are all emblematic of what George Carden Circus International stands for,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA’s message to families is that if you care about animals or your children’s safety, you should never buy a ticket to George Carden Circus International or any other circus that uses animals.”

George Carden Circus International has a long history of animal-welfare violations. Last month, the tiger exhibitor with the circus was cited for five violations, including public endangerment as well as denying tigers adequate living space and exercise and transporting them in a filthy vehicle with a “foul odor,” flies and maggots, and a build-up of hair, food waste, and excreta. The circus has also been cited for failing to provide underweight tigers with prominent hip and back bones with adequate nutrition and an elephant with open wounds with proper veterinary care. George Carden Circus International also has a history of dangerous incidents, including one in which an elephant attacked an arena worker, causing the worker to sustain severe injuries, and another in which elephants ran amok, bolting during a show and injuring a child.

The circuses rounding out PETA’s list include Ringling Bros., UniverSoul Circus, Carson & Barnes Circus, Cole Bros. Circus, Kelly Miller Circus, the Shrine circuses, and Jordan World Circus.

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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