PETA Calls On Feds to Deny Cruel Circus Endangered Species Export Permits

Tarzan Zerbini Circus' History of Violating Federal Animal Welfare Law Means That Authorities Must Block Request

For Immediate Release:
June 2, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Webb City, Mo. – Despite racking up a lengthy list of violations of the U.S. Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the Webb City–based Tarzan Zerbini Circus is still applying for permits to export two elephants to Canada. That’s why PETA has submitted formal comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) urging the agency to deny the request, pointing out in its comments that federal law prohibits issuing such permits to businesses that have violated local, state, and federal laws—and that circus trainer and handler Patricia Zerbini was recently fined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for allowing an elephant to attack a visitor, who was hospitalized for nearly two months after the attack.

“Tarzan Zerbini Circus can’t comply with federal laws, and now it wants permits to export elephants—despite its record of animal-care violations,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on U.S. authorities to feed the applications to the paper shredder.”

Tarzan Zerbini Circus has been cited for AWA violations more than two dozen times, including for keeping an elephant chained all the time, keeping elephants in an area with a solid waste pile approximately 8 feet wide and 4 feet tall, allowing waste to flow into a pond that elephants had direct access to, and feeding elephants an unhealthy diet of nothing but bread, hay, and weeds. The USDA has also penalized the circus at least three times for violations of the AWA.

To see PETA’s comments to the FWS and for more information, please visit PETA’s blog.

 

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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