Saint Louis University Cancels Circus After PETA Appeal

School Nabs Elephant-Shaped Chocolates in Thanks for Barring Garden Bros. Circus From Chaifetz Arena

For Immediate Release:
May 21, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

St. Louis – After PETA pointed out that Garden Bros. Circus has a long history of working with abusive animal exhibitors, Saint Louis University canceled the circus’ scheduled performances at the Chaifetz Arena on June 8 and 9. In thanks, PETA is sending the university’s president a box of elephant-shaped vegan chocolates.

“Garden Bros. Circus has toured without wild animals in Canada and even formed an animal-free unit called The Cirque, yet it’s still bullying elephants into performing tricks throughout the United States,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Rachel Mathews. “Compassionate venues like Saint Louis University are helping PETA push the circus toward the animal-free future it must embrace if it wants to keep attracting audiences.”

Garden Bros. Circus has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau. Its elephant provider, Carson & Barnes Circus, has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Carson & Barnes’ head trainer was caught on video attacking elephants with a bullhook (a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end), and in a recent whistleblower complaint, a former Garden Bros. employee described frequently seeing elephants with blood dripping from behind their ears. The whistleblower also reported that the camel handler beat, punched, and kicked a camel after a performance—and the handler was caught last year repeatedly whipping a llama on stage.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that venues and localities across the country, including in Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Vermont, and Virginia, have canceled Garden Bros. shows or barred it from performing with animals.

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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