Incoming Wild-Animal Circus Would Violate Law, PETA Says

Mayor Brown Urged to Block Jordan World Circus From Illegally Hauling Elephants and Tigers Into Town

For Immediate Release:
February 14, 2019

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Texarkana, Ark. – The notorious Jordan World Circus plans to perform with elephants and tigers next week in direct violation of the ban on wild animals in Texarkana, Arkansas, prompting PETA to fire off a letter this morning urging Mayor Allen L. Brown to enforce the ordinance and demand that the show be wild animal–free. PETA has repeatedly alerted local law-enforcement officials to the circus’s plans to flout the law but has received no substantive response.

“Elephants and tigers used by circuses are denied everything that’s natural and important to them as they’re hauled around the country and forced to perform for rowdy crowds,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the mayor to enforce the ban on wild animals and urging members of the public to stay away from these cruel spectacles for both the animals’ sake and their own safety.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Texarkana Mayor Allen L. Brown follows.

February 14, 2019

The Honorable Allen L. Brown
Mayor of Texarkana

Re: Jordan World Circus’ Plans to Defy Texarkana’s Wild Animals Ban

Dear Mayor Brown,

I’m writing on behalf of PETA and its more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide—including nearly 300 in Texarkana—to request that the City of Texarkana enforce its ordinance banning wild animals by requiring the notorious Jordan World Circus to perform without tigers and elephants when it’s in town next week. See Code of Ordinances, City of Texarkana, Arkansas, § 5–15.

Captive elephants and big cats have caused dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries to humans in the United States, and Jordan World Circus is no stranger to such incidents. An elephant who was giving rides to children knocked down and repeatedly kicked her trainer during a Jordan performance, and a child fell off the animal during the incident. Another elephant who was giving rides to children picked up, tossed, and stepped on an animal trainer, breaking his arm and ribs and causing internal organ damage, and injured a second trainer. In yet another incident, a tiger escaped, ran into the audience, and bit a child during one of the circus’s performances.

In addition, one of the elephants currently traveling with Jordan World Circus has tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis. This potentially deadly disease is highly contagious—even without direct contact, since it’s airborne. Seven people contracted it after being around infected elephants at a zoo. Nine others got it from a former circus elephant. Because of these serious dangers, numerous jurisdictions have refused to allow Jordan’s elephant supplier, the Carden family, to exhibit elephants.

The animal acts featured by Jordan also have well-documented records of animal abuse and neglect. Members of the Carden family have been repeatedly cited for animal-welfare violations, including for failing to supply adequate space, nutrition, and veterinary care. And the circus’s tiger exhibitor reportedly has a policy that big cats must be caged “at all times” except during performances, indicating that animals aren’t given adequate exercise during the many consecutive months in which they’re forced to travel and perform.

Please ensure the safety of both the citizens of Texarkana and animals by barring Jordan World Circus from bringing dangerous elephants and tigers to town and holding it accountable if it flouts the law. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Very truly yours,

Delcianna Winders, Esq.

Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
Captive Animal Law Enforcement

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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