Ochsner Health System Pulls Employee Ringling Discounts, Nets PETA Thank-You

Company Joins Long List of Businesses That Refuse to Promote Circuses That Use and Abuse Animals

For Immediate Release:
July 22, 2015

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Jefferson, La. – Courtesy of PETA, a box of delicious elephant-shaped vegan chocolates is on its way to Ochsner Health System as a thank-you for the company’s recent confirmation that it’ll no longer offer employee discounts on tickets to the notoriously cruel Ringling Bros. circus. Following outreach from PETA, CEO Warner Thomas confirmed that the Ringling discounts were immediately eliminated, and he committed to not offering discounts for animal acts in the future.

With this move, Ochsner Health System joins American Eagle Outfitters, Denny’s, MasterCard, Sears, Lakeville Arenas, and many other companies that have cancelled promotions of circuses that use animals or adopted “no animal circus” policies following discussions with PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.”

“By committing never to offer discounts on Ringling or other animal acts again, Ochsner Health System is in line with changing public opinion about outfits that imprison, beat, and force animals to perform painful, confusing tricks,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “Ochsner has joined PETA in sending the message that any business that exploits animals for entertainment is on its way out for good.”

PETA has gathered extensive video and photographic evidence showing circus trainers and handlers as they jab elephants, including babies, with bullhooks (weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook on one end). Circuses keep elephants, tigers, and other animals on the road for up to 50 weeks a year, and when they aren’t being forced to perform—under the threat of punishment—they’re usually shackled in chains or locked away in cramped cages.

Thanks to growing opposition to circuses that beat elephants into performing, Ringling Bros. recently pledged to phase out all its elephant acts by 2018.

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