Unlawful Tiger Show Go-Ahead Prompts Pushback

PETA Urges Board to Rethink Circumventing Public Safety, Animal Welfare Laws to Allow Big-Cat Show

For Immediate Release:
July 27, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Clark County, Nev. – Today, PETA sent a letter requesting that the Clark County Board of County Commissioners reconsider its approval—over the objections of citizens and animal protection groups—of an application by New Dewey Strip Holdings, LLC (NDSH), to erect a circus tent on the South Las Vegas Strip featuring tigers exploited by exhibitor Jay Owenhouse.

PETA points out that the board’s approval, on July 22, of an application for a show lasting six months circumvented a county law prohibiting unaccredited exotic or wild animal exhibits from lasting more than 20 days. Owenhouse reportedly made last-minute changes to the application that were read into the record immediately preceding the opportunity for public comment, effectively barring the community from providing meaningful responses to them because most responses had already been submitted in written form.

“The board has a duty and an obligation to take community concerns about this cruel and dangerous spectacle into account,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “PETA is calling on officials to reconsider siding with moneyed interests and sentencing tigers to six months of suffering, especially given the danger of COVID-19.”

PETA and Henderson-based CompassionWorks International had submitted comments opposing NDSH’s application for Owenhouse’s show, noting that the tigers would be caged outdoors in the sweltering desert heat and subjected to high-decibel noise from the McCarran International Airport. Furthermore, Owenhouse expressed no intent to comply with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s advisory note urging exhibitors to limit contact between humans and nondomestic cats, which was issued after multiple big cats became infected with COVID-19 by asymptomatic humans.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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