For Immediate Release:
May 20, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Marietta, Ga. – PETA supporters wearing elephant masks have chained themselves to the Jim R. Miller Park & Event Center’s front gate and are blocking drivers from accessing the entrance to the Yaarab Shrine Circus’ scheduled 11 a.m. performance. Other animal allies are armed with signs proclaiming, “Yaarab Shriners Support Animal Abuse.” The happening is being livestreamed on TikTok here.
“Elephants should be with their families in nature, but those exploited by the Yaarab Shriners are chained and forced to perform trick after trick under the constant threat of punishment,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging the Yaarab Shrine to stop promoting big-time cruelty under the big top.”
Video footage shows the head trainer for Carson & Barnes Circus—which frequently provides the elephant acts for the Yaarab Shrine Circus—instructing trainers to sink bullhooks into elephants’ flesh and twist them until the animals scream. Carson & Barnes’ appalling and long history of animal abuse also includes more than 100 citations for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Today’s disruption is the latest action in a PETA Shrine circus campaign that has included urging Yaarab Shrine Potentate Robert Hampton to embrace animal-free circuses and running a TV spot that shows suffering and abused tigers and elephants at Shrine circuses more than two dozen times on WXIA-TV.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.