No Elephants for Garden Bros. Circus

Following PETA Appeal, State Authorities Will Prevent Unlawful Exhibition of Elephants During Upcoming Performance

For Immediate Release:
September 30, 2019

Contact:
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Corbin, Ky. – After PETA alerted the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) to Garden Bros. Circus’ plans to exhibit elephants at The Corbin Arena on October 1—despite a local law that prohibits possessing, displaying, or exhibiting elephants—the KDFWR pledged to inform both the venue and the circus that they may not bring elephants into the state.

“Kentucky authorities were right to enforce the law and stop Garden Bros. from hauling elephants into town and bullying them into performing tricks,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “Today’s kind public has no interest in gawking at chained and shackled elephants, and PETA urges everyone to stay away from any circus that still includes cruel animal acts.”

Garden Bros.’ current elephant exhibitor, Larry Carden, was charged with cruelty to animals after he reportedly tried to move an elephant by inserting a bullhook—a weapon resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end—into the animal’s mouth. He uses two elephants, named Betty and Bo, even though Betty is chronically lame, likely as a result of prolonged chaining and confinement.

Garden Bros. has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau. Last year, the KDFWR inspected the circus and found that its elephant exhibitor had failed to obtain the valid health certificates necessary for a permit to import elephants into Kentucky. The handler was charged with four violations but has evaded any consequences—he left the state, he failed to appear at his arraignment, and there’s an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

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.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. 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