PETA Calls On Oakdale Animal Control Committee to Nix Cruel Circus Fundraiser

Group Points to Carson & Barnes’ Long History of Beating, Neglecting Elephants

For Immediate Release:
October 23, 2013

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Oakdale, La. — PETA has fired off a letter urging the Oakdale Animal Control Committee to cancel its plans to raise money for an animal control facility by hosting the notoriously cruel Carson & Barnes Circus. As PETA points out in its letter, Carson & Barnes has a long history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), and one of its trainers, Tim Frisco, has been caught on camera viciously attacking terrified elephants with heavy, metal-tipped bullhooks and shocking them with electric prods. This past summer an eyewitness reported seeing a Carson & Barnes elephant handler beat an elephant with four children on her back until she screamed.

“Inviting Carson & Barnes to perform at an animal-protection fundraiser is like inviting a cigarette company to give the keynote speech at a lung cancer–prevention conference,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on the Oakdale Animal Control Committee to start its animal-protection efforts off on the right foot and raise money in a way that doesn’t promote the abuse of animals.”

Just last year, Carson & Barnes paid a penalty in a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for 10 violations of the AWA, including for endangering both animals and the public. Carson & Barnes repeatedly failed to maintain control of elephants—one of whom escaped and fell down a steep slope—and to have elephants under the direct control and supervision of knowledgeable and experienced animal handlers. A USDA inspector even saw a Carson & Barnes elephant handler take a phone call while leading an elephant ride—and then leave the elephant completely unattended while one adult and six children sat in the saddle.

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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