Urge circuses to stop the cruelty and end all animal acts!

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Wild animals do not belong in circuses.

I was recently in Sicily and drove past a circus with tigers, elephants, zebras and more emblazoned all over the posters. Just the sight of these animals advertised made me contemplate how many circuses are still forcing creatures to perform and the abusive way they are treated.

Ringling Bros. Circus- one of the saddest shows on earth for wild animals- has finally shut down after thirty-six years of protests, petitions and documentation of animals beaten and left to die for public attendance to finally reduce to the point of no return. The unwavering pursuit of the public forced the abusive circus to shut down but now I'm calling again on the public to help eradicate all animals from circuses.

I am aiming this petition at two particularly abusive circuses: UniverSoul and Garden Bros. Circus. Urge these circuses to end all animal acts and instead focus solely on their incredible human talent showcased in their performances. 

The extent of animal abuse in these circuses are horrific. UniverSoul reportedly kept animals caged with heavy chains around their necks for up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the entire four to seven weeks they were on the road. They forced a lame and arthritic elephant to give people rides and many animals have escaped from their circus, causing potential injury to the public and themselves including multiple zebras and tigers in stops such as Maryland, Philadelphia and Oakland, California.

On numerous occasions, UniverSoul forced kangaroos to box one another. One of the kangaroos used in the appalling boxing routine died from a deadly bacterial infection known as “lumpy jaw,” which can be caused by crowding, poor hygiene, or poor diet. The circus continued to force him to fight for two months after he was diagnosed with the deadly infection. UniverSoul even hired notorious animal abuser Hugo Liebel, who’s racked up nearly 200 animal-welfare violations. Most of these citations relating his mistreatment of Nosey- an arthritic elephant that Liebel kept in chains so tight that she could barely move. Animal exhibitors performing with UniverSoul have repeatedly failed to meet minimum federal standards of care for the animals it uses as established in the Animal Welfare Act. 

A whistleblower reported that in 2016, the Garden Bros. Circus generally had two or three alligators at a time to use as photo props and would keep them backstage in a plastic crate with no water and with their mouths taped shut. The whistleblower was told that the food for these animals was restricted to keep them from growing too large. They reportedly often died after only two weeks, but new alligators would be shipped in. 

During an incident that occurred after a 2016 performance in Palm Beach, Florida, a former employee witnessed Camel handler, Evan Wall, beat, punch, and kick a camel named Cash. The beating reportedly went on for 10 to 15 minutes, but no one made an effort to stop the abuse. The former employee reported that the camel howled so loudly from the blows that his cries could be heard on stage. The employee had also witnessed other camels being whipped heavily. 

The whistleblower also recounted times that Wall would whip the camels’ feet—sometimes until they bled—in order to make the animals run faster when they entered the ring. The worker characterized circus manager Zack Garden’s instruction on handling camels as “really violent” but said that it was “circus courtesy” to ignore the animals’ suffering.

A former Garden Bros. employee described frequently seeing elephants with blood dripping from behind their ear. It's elephant exhibitor is currently facing charges for abuse. Another whistleblower reported that Zachary Garden, the manager of Garden Bros, habitually beat animals, withheld food from them, and refused to provide injured and dying ones with adequate veterinary care.

Please join in me in urging these circuses to end the abuse and stop forcing animals to perform. Sign my petition and spread the word to boycott any circuses with performing animal acts. We have the power to make a change.