Union Arena Rejects Garden Bros. Circus’ Animal Acts

PETA Sends Vegan Chocolates as Thanks for Community Center's Compassionate Decision

For Immediate Release:
April 11, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Woodstock, Vt. – When Garden Bros. Circus performs in Woodstock tonight, it will do so without any animal acts. After learning from PETA that the circus’s manager and exhibitors have extensive histories of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act, the Union Arena Community Center pushed Garden Bros. to feature exclusively human performers in tonight’s show.

As thanks, PETA has sent Union Arena a box of delicious vegan chocolates.

“Circuses like Garden Bros. drag chained-up animals across the country, denying them everything that’s natural and important to them and forcing them to perform tricks that are uncomfortable, pointless, and even painful,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA encourages other venues to follow Union Arena’s example and allow only talented human performers in visiting circus shows.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that circus manager Zachary Garden’s history of animal-welfare violations includes, among other incidents, failing to notice and treat bloody wounds on a camel’s legs and, according to an inspector, leaving a ewe to suffer after failing to seek prompt treatment for her fractured leg. Recent video footage from a Garden Bros. performance shows a llama falling to the ground after the animal’s legs got caught when he or she was forced to jump over a camel.

The Union Arena joins other compassionate venues and jurisdictions—including the New York Equestrian Center; Georgia’s Union County Arena; Lowndes County, Georgia; and Norfolk, Virginia—in canceling Garden Bros. performances, refusing to issue the circus permits because of safety concerns, or barring it from performing with wild animals.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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