Greenville Convention Center Bans Animal Circuses After PETA Appeal

Venue Nabs Elephant-Shaped Chocolates in Thanks for Compassionate Move

For Immediate Release:
March 12, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Greenville, S.C. – After learning that the notoriously cruel Garden Bros. Circus was headed to the Greenville Convention Center, PETA worked with the venue to ban it and all other animal circuses from performing there in the future. In thanks for the convention center’s compassionate decision, PETA is sending it a box of elephant-shaped vegan chocolates.

“The Greenville Convention Center has done the right thing in blocking cruel circuses like Garden Bros. from hauling suffering and dangerous animals into town and forcing them to perform under threat of punishment,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Rachel Mathews. “Every city, county, and venue that rejects animal acts helps PETA push circuses toward an animal-free future.”

Garden Bros. Circus has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau. The circus is currently using two elephants, named Betty and Bo, supplied by Larry Carden—even though Betty is chronically lame, likely as a result of prolonged chaining and confinement. In a 2017 whistleblower complaint, a former Garden Bros. employee described frequently seeing elephants with blood dripping from behind their ears. The whistleblower also reported that the camel handler beat, punched, and kicked a camel after a performance—and a handler was caught repeatedly whipping a llama on stage.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a supremacist worldview. Numerous venues and localities across the country—including in California, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Vermont, and Virginia—have canceled Garden Bros. shows or barred the circus from performing with animals.

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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