Ban circus abuse in California! sign now

December 12, 2008


Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

It has recently been brought to our attention by Peta, the Humane Society, and the ASPCA that circus animals endure a lifetime of abuse at the hands of their trainers. Animals are chained up to 23 hours per day with little opportunity to exercise or socialize with their own breed. In a signed affidavit to the USDA, Archele Hundley, a former Ringling Brothers employee, described witnessing animal trainers whip camels, punch horses in the face and jab them with pitchforks, and beat elephants with bullhooks until they bled and screamed in pain. Tom Rider, also a former Ringling employee, described working with extremely violent trainers who physically abused elephants 5 to 6 times per day. Ringling continues to deny these allegations, even after the USDA concluded that Benjamin, a 4-year-old baby elephant, drowned in a pond after enduring a violent beating from his trainer, Pat Harned. Courtenay Tosti, former Carson & Barnes employee, witnessed animals die from inadequate medical care, elephants beaten and hit with baseball bats, and a hippo suffer from a cracked and bloody back because she was not given water to submerge herself in.

According to Peta, Sweden, Austria, Costa Rica, India, Finland and Singapore have all banned or restricted the use of animals in entertainment; it is time that California do the same. Here is a list of circuses that still use animals in their performances: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Bentley Bros. Circus, Carson & Barnes Circus, Circus Gatti, Circus Hollywood, Circus Pages, Cole Bros. Circus, Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, Elephant Encounter, Frazen Bros. Circus, George Carden Circus, Hanneford Circus, Hawthorn Corporation, Hendrick Bros. Circus, Jordan World Circus, Kelly Miller Circus, Liebel Circus, Lydia Elephant Rides, Royal Hanneford Circus, Shrine Circus, Tarzan Zerbibi Circus, Universoul Circus, and Walker Bros. Circus.

Governor, we are asking for your help to put an end to this cruel and brutal animal abuse. California is a state that has always been at the forefront of important issues that affect our entire nation. We are asking that you send a clear message to these circuses that this abuse will not be tolerated in the state of California. We are asking you to help us ban circuses that use animals in their performances from California. Until these circuses can present animal-free alternatives, they should not be welcome in California. By taking a stand against this horrific abuse, we are confident that other states will soon follow. With your help, we are positive that we can make a huge impact, not only in California, but across the United States. Please speak out and stand with us to put an end to circus animal abuse.



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Frederic OlsenBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

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