Ringling’s Abuse of Animals Sparks PETA Protest in Roanoke

Protesters Will Draw Attention to Ringling’s Violent Treatment of Baby Elephants 

For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Roanoke, Va. – PETA protesters will assemble on Thursday as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus prepares for its opening show in Roanoke. The protesters will display signs that read, “This Is Ringling Baby-Elephant Training,” emblazoned with compelling photos taken inside Ringling’s training center. The photos expose how baby elephants used by Ringling are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with steel-tipped bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. These abusive sessions go on for several hours a day in order to force the baby elephants to learn to perform circus tricks out of fear of punishment. Actor Alec Baldwin recently narrated a video exposé that focuses on how circuses abuse elephants.

When:   Thursday, May 2, 6 p.m.

Where:  Roanoke Civic Center (intersection of Rutherford Avenue N.E. and Williamson Road N.E.), Roanoke

“Roanoke residents would run screaming from the big top if they knew how baby elephants are violently forced to perform difficult, confusing, and sometimes painful tricks,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “Since children love animals, the last place that parents and grandparents should take them to is the circus.”

In late 2011, Ringling Bros. paid the largest fine in circus history—$270,000—for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently investigating Ringling for further violations of the AWA.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website RinglingBeatsAnimals.com

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