Protesters to Descend on Circus’s Opening Night in Springfield

PETA Members Will Give Families the Scoop on Shrine Circuses' History of Elephant Abuse

For Immediate Release:
April 8, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Springfield, Mo. – On Thursday, PETA supporters will descend on the JQH Arena ahead of the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Circus’ planned opening performance, greeting would-be circusgoers with a reminder that no elephant chooses to perform grueling routines without the constant threat of painful beatings. The protesters will encourage families to go elsewhere for family-friendly entertainment.

Where:           JQH Arena, 685 S. John Q. Hammons Pkwy., Springfield

When:             Thursday, April 9, 6 p.m.

“With the end of Ringling Bros.’ elephant acts in sight, it’s clearer than ever that the public is turning away from companies that profit from exploiting animals,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on Shriners to make the best choice for animals by sparing them a lifetime of loneliness and crippling injuries as wellas a premature death.”

The animals used in the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Circus are provided by George Carden Circus, whose long history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act includes confining tigers to tiny cages, depriving underweight tigers of proper nutrition, denying adequate veterinary care to elephants and endangering the public. The Los Angeles Shrine Circus hosted an animal-free show last year, and PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is calling on Shriners across the country to follow suit.

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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