Lockport Township Park District Drops Animal Circuses

Executive Director Confirms ‘Different Direction,’ Nabs Vegan Brownies in Thanks From PETA

For Immediate Release:
September 27, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Lockport Township, Ill.

PETA has sent a box of delicious vegan brownies to the Lockport Township Park District for announcing that it won’t host animal circuses again after yesterday’s performance by the Kelly Miller Circus. After learning from PETA and local residents that Kelly Miller has a long history of contracting with abusive exhibitors for its cruel animal acts, the park district’s executive director told PETA, “[We have] decided to go in a different direction … and may continue to have a circus in the future; however it will be without animals.” Another important factor in its decision was the state’s recent ban on traveling elephant exhibitions, which will protect elephants from being forced to give rides and perform in circuses when it goes into effect next year.

“Lockport Township Park District’s commitment to animal-free entertainment is more proof that circuses with animals are fading into the history books,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on venues nationwide to follow the park district’s lead and cut ties with cruel exhibitors that profit from animal misery.”

In its correspondence with the park district, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—noted that Kelly Miller’s elephant trainer, Joey Frisco, was caught on video hooking and yanking elephants night after night while he worked at the now-defunct Ringling Bros. circus. The elephants used in the Kelly Miller Circus are supplied by the Carden family, whose companies were caught failing to provide an elephant, who had open wounds, with veterinary care and allowing two elephants to escape, among other violations. And in 2015, a Kelly Miller exhibitor was cited for using an electric prod on zebras and camels during a performance.

The Lockport Township Park District joins more than 620 venues across the country in prohibiting archaic animal exhibits.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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