PETA and CompassionWorks International Decry Cruel Parking Lot Proposal
For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2021
David Perle 202-483-7382
Las Vegas – As the Winchester Town Advisory Board prepares to vote this evening on a land use permit that would allow magician Jay Owenhouse to exhibit tigers in a fabric tent near the Strip, PETA and locally based CompassionWorks International (CWI) sent the board’s members a letter this morning urging them to deny the application.
In the letter, PETA and CWI note that Owenhouse’s proposal entails exhibiting and caging three tigers in a vacant parking lot for a full year—including during the hottest part of the summer—which would subject the big cats to oppressive heat as well as constant noise from a monorail station, a condominium complex, and several busy intersections, all nearby.
“Tigers are solitary hunters who should be swimming in jungle streams, not pacing inside parking lot cages,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on officials to make Jay Owenhouse’s bid for an out-of-touch magic show and tiger tent disappear.”
“Tigers have complex, species-specific needs that Jay Owenhouse seems unwilling to meet,” says CWI Executive Director Carrie LeBlanc. “We’re counting on Winchester officials to agree that his cruel tiger tent doesn’t belong on the Strip for a single day, let alone an entire year.”
Owenhouse obtained the tigers from Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, a notorious tiger breeder exposed in the Netflix docuseries Tiger King. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited Owenhouse for failing to ensure sufficient distance or a barrier between a tiger and the public—and in 2014, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service denied him Endangered Species Act permits for two tigers because his magic show did not enhance the propagation or survival of the species.
The Clark County Board of County Commissioners will also vote on Owenhouse’s land use application on December 22. According to the county’s agenda sheet, Clark County staff have already recommended that the county deny the application, and PETA and CWI want Winchester officials to do the same.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.