Ban All Events at George Mason University Involving the Use of Animals as Entertainment

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George Mason University (GMU) continues to allow various events on campus involving the use of animals as entertainment. Animals used for entertainment are often put in stressful, uncomfortable, and/or scary environments such as animals used in circuses, bull riding, and traveling petting zoos often used for "de-stress" events for college students. These animals should be recognized as sentient individuals with a desire to live a life free from captivity- just like us- but by allowing these events to happen on campus, we are condemning them to another day of stress and misery. It might be easy to forget the well-being of these animals while they are performing in circuses or rodeo-type activities and petting zoo events, but for most of these animals, they are stressed out, scared, and uncomfortable.

Animals in circuses are often treated poorly behind the scenes to ensure that they perform at top quality, the transportation of these animals from state to state is often stressful for the animals, and animals used for bull riding or other rodeo type activities are generally gentle, docile animals but are made out to be fierce and aggressive by aggravating them with flank straps and electric shock pods. Therefore, we are calling for the President of George Mason University to ban all events on campus involving the use of animals for entertainment purposes. These events are completely unnecessary and the best way to ensure that no animals are at risk of exploitation is to ultimately not allow these events on campus in the first place. Examples of these events involve but are not limited to:

  • Circuses with animals
  • Rodeo and rodeo type activities (bull riding, bull fighting, wrestling, calf roping, and steer tailing)
  • Petting zoos


When this petition was started, we asked that George Mason University cancel the Professional Bull Riding event on campus at EagleBank Arena that was scheduled for September 21 and 22, 2019 to be cancelled.  Unfortunately, the University chose to go ahead with this horribly cruel event as they are on a three year contract, Fall 2018-Fall 2020. Please help cancel these events going forward at George Mason University and let GMU know that this type of animal cruelty will not be tolerated on our campus and that we demand action now.

Here a few things you can do to help end the use of animals as “entertainment” at GMU:

  • Sign and SHARE this petition!
  • Email President Anne Holton of George Mason University, asking that animals not be used as “entertainment at GMU;
  • Call Susan Riel, the President & CEO of EagleBank. EagleBank spent millions of dollars to put their name on the GMU arena. Ask them to SPEAK OUT against animal abuse. Ms. Riel may be reached at 301-986-1800 or 240-497-2075.
  • Go to for more information.