peta facebook placeholder new Animal Allies to Confront Shriners Over Cruelty Under the Big Top

Animal Allies to Confront Shriners Over Cruelty Under the Big Top

For Immediate Release:
February 7, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Grapevine, Texas – Ringling stopped, so why can’t they? On Thursday, PETA supporters will rally outside the Shriners International Membership & Marketing Conference and Masters Class, where they’ll unfurl a giant banner showing a toppled fez, urging Shriners International to ditch circus cruelty and modernize their shows by making them animal-free, just as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is doing. Pro-animal protesters were previously assaulted by Shriners at a similar action in St. Louis in December.

When:    Thursday, February 9, 10:30 a.m.

Where:    Embassy Suites, 2401 Bass Pro Dr. (at the intersection with Big Buck Drive), Grapevine

Shrine circuses have the dubious distinction of being among the very last remaining shows that still use wild animals, who are confined to small crates, kept in shackles, and deprived of any semblance of a natural or happy life. They routinely do business with notoriously cruel exhibitors, including Carson & Barnes Circus, which has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and whose head trainer was caught on video violently attacking elephants with bullhooks—weapons resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp metal hook on one end.

“Cruelty and animal exploitation leave Shrine circuses behind the times, as they continue to force animals to perform confusing and even painful tricks,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Shriners International to follow in Ringling’s footsteps by ending archaic live-animal acts and is urging everyone to stay away from Shrine shows until they show respect for animals.”

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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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