Ruidoso-Bound Circus Issued Official Warning for Denying Care to Ailing Llama

Carson & Barnes Adds to Its Long List of Animal Neglect and Abuse

For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Ruidoso, N.M. – PETA wants Ruidoso residents to take note: In December 2013, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector found that a llama with the Carson & Barnes Circus was squinting and that his entire right eye was discolored. The eyelashes and hair below his eye were also wet and matted with a cloudy discharge, and he appeared thin. Finally, a veterinarian was called and determined that the eye had probably been punctured. Now, the USDA has issued the circus an official warning for denying the llama veterinary care. Carson & Barnes is scheduled to perform in Ruidoso on April 24.

“Carson & Barnes is a living hell for the animals it beats into performing and allows to languish in pain,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “The best thing that residents whose kids love animals can do is stay as far away from this despicable circus as possible.”

This latest enforcement action comes less than two years after Carson & Barnes paid a penalty to settle 10 violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including failure to maintain control of three elephants, one of whom fell down a steep slope onto her side, and failure to have adequate distance or barriers between the elephants and the public, allowing a member of the public to grab an elephant’s trunk.

Carson & Barnes paid a fine to the USDA after undercover video footage showed veteran trainer Tim Frisco as he violently attacked elephants with a bullhook—a weapon with a sharp metal hook on one end—causing them to scream out in pain. In a separate incident, a handler used excessive force with a bullhook on an elephant named Viola, who was forced to give people rides. Viola has a history of bolting from handlers—injuring herself and endangering the public in the process.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website listing Carson & Barnes’ history of violations.

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