Noah Cyrus Calls On Kids To Refuse To Go To The Circus

Teen Actor With Superstar Family Teams Up With PETA Kids for Brand-New Video, Appeal to Hometown School Board to End Circus Field Trips

For Immediate Release:
January 14, 2014

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Nashville, Tenn. – Just days before Ringling Bros. arrives for its opening night in her home state of Tennessee, 13-year-old Noah Cyrus—whose well-known family’s home is in Nashville—stars in a new PETA Kids video that reveals how circuses beat elephants and tigers into performing. The Disney star’s goal? To get kids to say no whenever friends, family members, or teachers suggest taking a trip to the circus.

“We all know how awful bullies are, and circuses bully animals every day,” Cyrus explains. “Elephants used in circuses are forced to perform tricks by trainers who beat them and jab them with metal hooks. . . . And as for tigers—they get whipped when they don’t do exactly what the trainers want.” She concludes, “You have the power to stop this cruelty by refusing to go to circuses and by telling your friends and family why.”

As Ringling Bros. heads to Nashville, Cyrus is also appealing directly to the city’s school board with a letter, available here, urging officials to adopt a policy against field trips to circuses. “Ringling routinely gives discounted tickets to schools, including Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, in order to increase its profits,” she writes. “The only thing that kids learn from a circus performance is that it’s acceptable to bully animals for human entertainment. That’s a terrible lesson that should never come with the school’s endorsement.”

The abuse starts early for elephants used by Ringling: PETA has obtained compelling photos taken inside Ringling’s breeding facility that expose how baby elephants are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. In 2011, Ringling Bros. paid the largest fine in circus history—$270,000—for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Known for her film voiceover work and her appearances alongside big sister Miley on Hannah Montana, Cyrus joins a growing list of celebrities—including Alec Baldwin, Jada Pinkett Smith, Edie Falco, Cloris Leachman, and Wilmer Valderrama—who have teamed up with PETA to speak out against circuses that abuse 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