Victory! Major Sponsors Drop Hadi Shrine Circus After Push From PETA

For Immediate Release:
February 7, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Evansville, Ind. – Two top sponsors of the Hadi Shrine Circus in 2022—global health and nutrition company DSM and the world’s largest paint and coatings manufacturer, PPG Industries—have confirmed to PETA that they’ve cut ties with the locally based circus, known for hiring exhibitors who keep elephants in shackles and abuse them with bullhooks (weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end) and dominate other wild animals with whips. The Sherwin-Williams Company has also advised its local business groups to refrain from sponsoring the Hadi Shrine Circus in the future.

“Animals used for the Hadi Shrine Circus are forced to perform confusing and even painful tricks under the threat of violence, over and over again,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is celebrating these companies for making the right decision to no longer support this cruel show, which must get with the times and end its animal acts.”

In 2022, the Hadi Shrine Circus used elephants from Carson & Barnes—whose head trainer was caught on video viciously attacking an elephant with a bullhook until she screamed in pain—as well as camels, dogs, and ponies. PETA is calling on it and every other holdout Shrine circus to follow the lead of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus by using only willing human participants. Shrine circuses in Canada haven’t used wild animals in years, the Moolah Shrine recently dropped elephants from its shows, and the Western Montana Shrine Circus ended wild-animal acts.

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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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