Victory! Danbury Ice Arena Will Eliminate Animal Circuses

PETA Works With Venue's New Management to Adopt New Animal-Friendly Policy

For Immediate Release:
April 8, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Danbury, Conn. – After learning that the notoriously cruel Garden Bros. Circus was slated to perform at the Danbury Ice Arena, PETA worked with the venue’s compassionate new owner, Diamond Properties, and persuaded it to adopt a policy prohibiting all animal circuses from performing there in the future.

“Diamond Properties is proud to align itself with PETA and its commitment to animal rights causes,” said Bill Diamond, cofounder and president of Diamond Properties. “I’ve actively followed many of the PETA campaigns over the years and believe that as an organization, it has helped advance so many powerful causes. And as the new owner of the Danbury Ice Arena, we’re proud to be part not only of this particular cause but also of the PETA mission in general.”

“Diamond Properties is ushering the Danbury Ice Arena into a kinder age, when elephants and camels will no longer be threatened into performing circus tricks under its roof,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Rachel Mathews. “Every city, county, and venue that rejects the cruelty behind animal acts helps PETA push circuses toward an animal-free future.”

Garden Bros. Circus has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau. The circus is currently using two elephants, named Betty and Bo, supplied by Larry Carden—even though Betty is chronically lame, likely as a result of prolonged chaining and confinement. In a 2017 whistleblower complaint, a former Garden Bros. employee described frequently seeing elephants with blood dripping from behind their ears. The whistleblower also reported that a camel handler beat, punched, and kicked a camel after a performance—and a handler was caught repeatedly whipping a llama on stage.

Numerous venues and localities across the country—including in California, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia—have canceled Garden Bros. shows or barred the circus from performing with animals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that other animals are commodities.

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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