Stop elephant cruelty and go animal free, Hadi told Shrine Circus

For immediate publication:
November 17, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Evansville, Ind. – The Hadi Shrine Circus has been heavily criticized for hiring exhibitors who handcuff elephants, unable to even take a step, and dominate them and other wild animals with whips and sticks – and today PETA fired a letter to Potentate Rick Hubbard calling on him to omit animals from all upcoming shows, much like the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus do.

As part of its campaign, PETA is making local airwaves with a video spot showing tigers in cramped metal cages and elephants being stabbed with bullhooks — weapons similar to a fireplace poker with a sharp hook on one end — at Shrine circuses. Animal advocates armed with signs will also enter the Hadi Shrine Circus before each show to call on families to avoid the circus’ cruel use of animals in its shows.

“Shrine circuses are supposed to be fun for everyone, but they cause suffering to elephants or the other animals who are forced to perform confusing and painful tricks,” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Times have changed and the Hadi Shrine Circus should end this shameful chapter in its history by organizing animal-free fundraisers only.”

Shrine circuses are among the last remaining shows that still deprive wild animals of any semblance of natural life. Circus trainers threaten animals to make them balance on balls, spin on pedestals, walk on two legs and ride bicycles. Last year, the Hadi Shrine knowingly used suffering tigers in an unlicensed circus act on Thanksgiving, and it has routinely worked with Carson & Barnes Circus, whose head trainer was filmed viciously attacking an elephant with a bullhook until she screamed in pain .

PETA’s TV spot will run until Sunday, November 27 on local CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX stations.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacy worldview. For more information, go to or continue following the group Twitter, Facebookor Instagram.

Leave a Comment