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Letter: The days of using animals for circus entertainment coming to an end

Regarding “Circus coming to town, but it’ll be a curtain call,” June 5: The days of boxing up animals and carting them from city to city, forcing them to perform silly tricks, and tearing apart animal families and friends in the name of “entertainment” are coming to an end.

The US Department of Agriculture, which enforces federal animal protection laws, has repeatedly cited the Carson & Barnes Circus for unsafe handling of animals. Earlier this year, the circus allowed three elephants to escape from the area used for children’s rides. In late 2012, Carson & Barnes paid a penalty for 10 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including a prior elephant escape. Undercover video footage caught Carson & Barnes’ head trainer viciously beating elephants with sharp metal-tipped bullhooks and shocking them with electric prods.

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Last summer, an eyewitness gave sworn testimony that while Carson & Barnes was performing with the Kelly Miller Circus in Ohio, an elephant who was being used to give rides to children was struck four times so hard that she screamed out in pain.

Parents, grandparents, please don’t let your little ones believe that cruelty to animals is “OK.” Explain why you won’t be buying tickets to the circus.

Jennifer O’Connor

Staff writer, PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.

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