Eyewitnesses Report Handlers Whipping Baby Zebra and Camel; Striking Tiger, Baby Goat, and Dog on the Face; and More
For Immediate Release:
June 27, 2013
David Perle 202-483-7382
Hugo, Okla. — Based on sworn affidavits from numerous people who report witnessing handlers with the notoriously cruel Hugo-based Kelly Miller Circus whipping a baby zebra and several tigers; striking a dog, tiger, and baby goat on the face; and tethering animals so tightly that they could barely take a step, PETA has submitted a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for multiple and repeated apparent violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The reported abuse took place during the circus’s recent tour of New Jersey and in a town in eastern Pennsylvania. Kelly Miller Circus has been repeatedly cited for denying adequate veterinary care to animals, public endangerment, and numerous other serious AWA violations.
“Circuses use violence, fear, and pain to keep animals under control—and to punish them for not obeying,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “PETA urges families to stay far away from Kelly Miller Circus and all other circuses that use animals.”
The following is just a small sample of the abuse reported by the eyewitnesses:
- June 14, Carteret, N.J.: A handler whipped a baby zebra twice on the back of the leg, causing the animal to limp in pain.
- June 17, Lakehurst, N.J.: A camel and several zebras were whipped, and a handler forcefully struck a small dog on the face.
- June 19, Old Bridge, N.J.: The zebras were repeatedly whipped, and a man forcefully struck a tiger on the face.
- June 21, Weatherly, Pa.: A camel and several zebras were tethered on ropes so tightly that they could barely move. The zebras were whipped throughout an entire performance—one with such force that the animal stumbled.
- June 23, Township of Washington, (Bergen County), N.J.: A trainer apparently whipped tigers on the face. The zebras were whipped throughout the show.
PETA’s complaint to the USDA is available upon request. Some of the incidents described above were caught on tape, and the videos are also available upon request. For more information, please see PETA’s factsheet.