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Shrine Circus: [email protected]

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PETITION TARGET: Shrine Circuses

UPDATE (6/12/2023): We sent our petition, signed by more than 36,000 people, to the Shrine Circuses asking them to no longer use animals in their acts. While the Moolah Shrine Circus announced in January that it was retiring its elephants, sadly many of these circuses continue to use elephants and other animals. We will keep doing all we can for animals cruelly exploited in circuses, and we thank everyone who signed our petition. —Lady Freethinker Staff


Circus elephants are jabbed with sharp, metal hooks, whipped into submission, and chained in place for hours on end just so they will perform demeaning tricks. Tigers and other exotic animals suffer similar abuses. Yet Shrine circus continues to use cruel elephant and big cat performances in their shows.

Circus goers may marvel at these majestic wild animals, but hidden from view are the abusive techniques used to break the animals — usually when they’re babies. Neglect, psychological abuse, and violence used to force animals to obey and perform the unnatural behaviors often includes beatings, electrical prods, solitary confinement, or housing animals in small, inadequate travel crates.

Many of the worst abuses occur during animal “training” sessions, when trainers at for-hire circuses use whips, bullhooks, and restraining ropes to force circus animals into unnatural movements or positions.

Sadly, these abusive aspects of circus life are not covered by the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which provides only minimal protections for performing animals. 

But Franzen Bros. Circus — which has leased many animals to Shrine Circuses nationwide — has repeatedly violated key portions of the AWA, including failing to provide their animals with basic nutritional needs, sanitary conditions, and veterinary care, according to USDA documents.

Animal cruelty is not entertainment, and this rampant abuse must stop.

Sign this petition urging Shrine Circuses to stop employing abusive for-hire animal circuses and end the horrific use of chains, whips, and bullhooks for these innocent, suffering animals.