Herd of PETA Supporters to Descend on State Agency Meeting in Defense of Elephants


For Immediate Release:
December 7, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Madison, Wis. – On Friday, PETA protesters will rally outside the Wisconsin Historical Society’s board meeting with signs proclaiming, “Revamp Like Ringling: Stop Using Animals,” and, during the public comment portion of the meeting, call on the board to follow in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ footsteps by banning all live-animal acts. The Wisconsin Historical Society recently announced that it would continue forcing elephants to perform in Circus World Museum’s summer shows through the 2023 season and that other animals, including llamas and horses, would always be a “vital part” of its acts.

When:    Friday, December 9, 9:30 a.m.

Where:    University of Wisconsin, Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison

The actions follow PETA’s discovery that two elderly elephants, Isa and Viola, were forced to give rides seven days a week from May 20 to August 28, carrying as many as 159 riders in a single day. A PETA investigation also revealed that Isa and Viola were forced to perform grueling tricks twice a day, seven days a week, in the museum’s 2021 summer series, despite suffering from chronically swollen feet and other symptoms of painful foot and joint problems.

“Cruelty is the star of the show at Circus World Museum, which plans to continue forcing ailing elephants and other animals to perform demeaning tricks in front of noisy crowds,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the Wisconsin Historical Society to follow in Ringling’s footsteps by banning archaic live-animal acts immediately and urges audiences to stay away from Circus World Museum until it chooses kindness over cruelty.”

After the 2023 summer shows, the elephants will return to Carson & Barnes Circus’ facility in Oklahoma, where elephants are chained, bred, and exploited for photo ops and other forms of entertainment. Carson & Barnes is listed as one of PETA’s “Worst Circuses in the U.S.” and has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. PETA also caught the circus’ head trainer on video viciously attacking elephants with electric prods and bullhooks (weapons that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end), while instructing trainers to sink and twist the bullhooks into the animals’ flesh until they screamed in pain.

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


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