Westside Hall Rejects Cruel Animal Acts, Earns PETA Praise

Company Nabs a Box of Elephant-Shaped Vegan Chocolates in Thanks for Canceling Stardust Circus Appearance

For Immediate Release:
March 20, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

Defiance, Ohio – A box of delicious elephant-shaped vegan chocolates is on its way from PETA to Westside Hall, whose recent refusal to host the Stardust Circus over animal-abuse concerns played a part in persuading the circus to drop its cruel elephant acts. Stardust, which leased elephants from the notorious Carson & Barnes Circus, wrote last week that it removed elephants from its tours because “activists make it very difficult to travel with animals today.”

“Westside Hall did the right thing in refusing to host an outfit that profited from denying animals everything that’s natural and important to them and forcing them to perform pointless and even painful tricks,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews. “Its stance helped prompt Stardust to nix its cruel elephant acts, and PETA calls on venues everywhere to follow Westside Hall’s lead and reject animal performances.”

PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” notes that the trainer who toured with Stardust, Habib Omar, has been filmed using a bullhook—a sharp steel-tipped weapon resembling a fireplace poker—to yank an elephant by the ear. And a whistleblower reported that Omar would “warm up” the elephants by shocking them with an electric prod—presumably so that there would be no visible marks from his abuse.

Westside Hall joins the Arkansas National Guard, which implemented a policy banning animal acts—also prompted by concerns over Stardust Circus—as well as 620 other venues that have refused to host wild-animal performances.

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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