Victory! UniverSoul Circus Announces They Will No Longer Use Animals For Entertainment

Animal activists around the world are celebrating after UniverSoul Circus—which used animal acts involving zebras, camels, and other wild and exotic animals in its shows for decades—joins the ranks of animal-free circuses around the world.

The victory follows years of appeals and vigorous protests from PETA, e-mails from well over 100,000 of its members and supporters, and ads featuring celebrities like TLC’s Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas against the circus’s exploitation of animals.

“UniverSoul’s decision to stop exploiting animals sends a message to industry holdouts that cruelty doesn’t belong under the big top in the 21st century,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA thanks UniverSoul for joining Ringling Bros. and other circuses that have recognized growing public disgust at the cruelty involved in training, caging, and chaining wild animals, and encourages everyone to support circuses that feature only willing human performers.”

Following decades of abusing animals and declining ticket sales, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus ended the use of wild animals in their performances in 2017. In addition, they just announced that they will be kicking off a nationwide circus tour this month, this time without a single animal caged, held captive, or forced to perform for public entertainment.

Federal records obtained by PETA showed that numerous animal welfare violations occurred during tours by UniverSoul, including denying a limping tiger veterinary care, denying elephants foot care, and locking big cats in cramped cages 24/7.

Animal control officers had observed wounded camels, an injured zebra, elephants with bruised feet, and an elephant with a wound on his ankle. Eyewitness video also revealed that a camel was horrifically punched while being used for rides. Additionally, zebras forced to perform with UniverSoul had escaped multiple times, running frantically through busy streets in Philadelphia and Oakland, California.

As more people become aware of the cruelty involved in forcing animals to perform, circuses that use animals are finding fewer places to set up their big tops. The use of animals in entertainment has already been restricted or banned in cities across the U.S. and in countries worldwide.

Please consider taking your family to see only animal-free circuses, such as Cirque du Soleil. Together, we can fight to end the use of animals in entertainment worldwide!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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