PETA: Shriners Bow to Public Opinion Over Circus Cruelty

For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Pittsburgh – Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews in response to the Syria Shriners’ announcement that their 2018 circus was their last:

Thousands of PETA supporters urged the Shriners to stop using animals in the circus after a camel in last year’s show injured several children, and the Shriners have at last recognized that today’s public doesn’t support caging, chaining, or beating animals for circus performances. Fighting Pittsburgh’s ban on using weapons to threaten wild and exotic animals was a waste of time and money, and PETA applauds the Shriners’ decision to join the growing number of temples that are leaving elephants, camels, and other animals out of their fundraisers.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. More information about Shrine circuses is available here.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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