Union County Arena Rejects Garden Bros. Circus

PETA Sends Saddle Club High Praise (and a Box of Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates) for Its Compassionate Decision

For Immediate Release:
February 22, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Blairsville, Ga. – PETA has sent some delicious and appropriately shaped vegan chocolates to the Union County Saddle Club in Blairsville as a thank-you for canceling the Garden Bros. Circus performance previously scheduled for March 8 at the Union County Arena. Garden Bros. leases the elephant acts in its shows from the notorious Carson & Barnes Circus, which paid a $16,000 fine last year to settle a lawsuit brought under the federal Animal Welfare Act related to an incident in which three elephants ran amok, which PETA notes could have killed someone. Carson & Barnes has also been cited for failing to document properly the care and treatment of a pygmy hippo and an elephant who had lost weight at an alarming rate for months. Both animals ultimately died.

“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. “More and more venues are rejecting wild-animal acts, and Union County Arena has done the right thing by joining them.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that Garden Bros.’ history of animal-welfare violations includes failing to notice and treat bloody wounds on a camel’s legs, among other incidents. In 2013, an eyewitness reported seeing circus manager Zachary Garden viciously strike a zebra with a 3-foot-long stick.

The Union County Arena joins the New York Equestrian Center and Lowndes County, Georgia, in canceling Garden Bros. performances.

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