PETA to Caesars: Scratch Cruel Big-Cat Act

Group Appeals to CEO in Wake of Official Warning to Notorious Exhibitor for Violating U.S. Animal-Protection, Public-Safety Laws

For Immediate Release:
March 6, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Las Vegas – Animal exhibitor Dirk Arthur received an Official Warning from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) after being cited for several violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act—including the painful declawing of two tigers and a lion, which has been prohibited for nearly a decade. Today, PETA sent an urgent letter to Gary Loveman, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment, urging him to cancel Arthur’s “Wild Magic” show featuring tigers and other exotic cats at Caesars-owned Harrah’s in Laughlin and Reno. According to the USDA’s inspection report, declawing can cause “considerable pain and discomfort to the animal and may result in chronic health problems.”

“By keeping Dirk Arthur on, Caesars is giving its tacit stamp of approval to his abusing cats and exposing the public to danger,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “Arthur has shown contempt for animal-protection laws, so instead of handing him money, Caesars should hand him his walking papers.”

PETA also points out that Caesars’ partnership with Arthur is clearly inconsistent with the company’s stated objective of “mak[ing] a positive overall contribution” and recognition of “the importance of being a responsible steward of the environment.” The following are some of Arthur’s other violations from December:

  • Failing to protect a snow leopard from harm by confining the animal to a rusty and unsound enclosure
  • Confining a bobcat with a dangling chain that became caught in the fencing of the enclosure, presenting “a clear hazard” to the animal
  • Failing to utilize adequate barriers to protect the animals and the public
  • Failing to provide the cats with sufficient space and denying them the required opportunity to exercise

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