On February 13, 2013 the National Guard in Oxford, Mississippi is planning to host a human vs. kangaroo boxing match as part of the Star Family Circus (AKA Stardust Circus). A youtube video (Rocky the Kangaroo) of a past performance shows a tethered kangaroo wearing boxing gloves and provoked to fight a human opponent in a boxing ring. The kangaroo is repeatedly punched in the face by a human. This is blatant animal cruelty, cruelty is NOT entertainment, and we will not allow it on our community. This utter disregard for an animal should not be allowed to happen anywhere, ever.
Boxing matches are extremely stressful for kangaroos, who, despite their size, are delicate and skittish animals. Given the choice, they would rather flee than fight, and they must be harassed and bullied into defending themselves in boxing matches. Not only are these events inhumane, the conditions under which the animals are held are also unnatural and detrimental to their health, especially since stress-related illnesses are common in kangaroos and can be fatal. Indeed, at least two kangaroos used for boxing matches in circus performances have died while touring—one from complications of a deadly bacterial disease called "lumpy jaw," which can result from extreme crowding, poor hygiene, poor diet, and stressful conditions. According to PETA Australian Campaign Coordinator Claire Fryer, “Kangaroos used for entertainment live very lonely lives; they can’t live in their social groups and they are deprived of everything that is natural to them.”
Since 2005, Star Family Circus has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for nearly two dozen violations of the Animal Welfare Act involving kangaroos, including failing to provide a kangaroo with adequate veterinary care and failing to house a kangaroo in a structurally sound facility that protects the animal from injury.
We demand that the Mississippi National Guard follow the lead of the Arkansas National Guard, which called off another circus's performances in four cities after learning of its appalling record of animal care. We demand that this event be cancelled and not allowed to occur anywhere in our state. Our community does not support such depraved and despicable acts of animal cruelty, and the National Guard should not either.
Thank you for caring and your support in this cause.
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