Ringling’s Abuse of Animals Sparks Protest From PETA, State Rep

With Elephant-Protection Legislation Pending, Protesters Will Draw Attention to Circus's Violent Treatment of Elephants

For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Providence, R.I. – PETA protesters—as well as Rep. Raymond E. Gallison Jr., a sponsor of Rhode Island’s pending elephant-protection legislation—will assemble on Friday as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus prepares for its show in Providence. The protesters will display signs 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 bullhooks—weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook on one end—and shocked with electric prods to teach them to obey and perform tricks out of fear of punishment. Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning actor Edie Falco stars in a PETA video asking parents to keep their kids far away from circuses.

When:   Friday, May 2, noon

Where:  Dunkin’ Donuts Center, near the intersection of Broadway and La Salle Square, Providence

“Rhode Islanders 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 Deputy General Counsel 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. Pending state legislation, House Bill 7192 sponsored by Rep. Gallison and Senate Bill 2189, would prohibit the use of bullhooks as well as the cruel prolonged chaining of elephants—a standard Ringling practice—in Rhode Island.

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