West Oaks Mall Bans Animal Exhibits After PETA Appeal

Shopping Center Nabs Box of Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates in Thanks for Compassionate Decision

For Immediate Release:
July 7, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Houston – A box of delicious elephant-shaped vegan chocolates is on its way from PETA to Houston’s West Oaks Mall after it pledged not to host cruel animal exhibits and circuses, which force animals to perform tricks under threat of being beaten, gouged, or shocked with electric prods. The compassionate decision follows a performance by Carson & Barnes Circus at the shopping center in March. Carson & Barnes has racked up more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and paid a $16,000 fine last year after three elephants escaped from a performance and ran amok for nearly an hour.

“A life of shackles and shopping malls is no life at all for elephants and other highly sensitive, intelligent animals,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “As audiences nationwide shun circuses that still force animals to perform, PETA is urging other companies to follow West Oaks Mall’s kind and business-savvy example by rejecting all animal acts.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that elephants, lions, bears, and other wild animals used in circuses and other exhibits are often torn away from their mothers as babies and confined to filthy cages or trailers when not on stage. Trainers force these animals to perform confusing and uncomfortable tricks by whipping, shocking, or striking them with bullhooks—weapons with a sharp metal hook on one end. Animals used for entertainment commonly suffer from chronic health problems as well as psychological disorders—including neurotic behavior such as swaying, head-bobbing, and pacing—and die prematurely.

West Oaks Mall joins more than 620 malls nationwide—including all properties owned by CBL & Associates Properties, GGP, Macerich, and Simon Property Group—that have banned wild-animal acts.

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