October 11, 2017
Vancouver Humane Society calls for Garden Bros. Circus performances to be cancelled
Society raises animal welfare and safety concerns
Vancouver – The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is calling for the B.C. performances of the Garden Bros. Circus to be cancelled because of concerns over the circus’s animal welfare record.
The circus has performances scheduled for Kamloops (October 19), Vernon (October 20) and Chillliwack (October 22). VHS says it is asking each of the venues to cancel the circus’s appearance.
VHS says Garden Bros. has a poor animal welfare record, which has been well-documented by animal protection groups. Although the circus will apparently only feature dogs and ponies on its B.C. tour, it has faced past allegations of mistreatment of elephants and other animals in the United States.
A report by a veterinarian engaged by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in June concluded two elephants in the circus’s care were “…suffering physically, in a state of psychological deterioration, and compromised welfare attributable to their standard of care and living conditions…”
A PETA press release in September also reported claims by a former Garden Bros. employee that elephants in its care “…were electrically shocked backstage and left dripping blood from wounds inflicted by bullhooks…”
Another U.S. group, the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, has published a report detailing a long record of alleged animal abuses, poor business practices and customer complaints.
In September, the circus’s performance in Winnipeg was shut down due to safety concerns, with media reports quoting parents’ complaints that the performance was a “disaster.”
“Clearly, this circus has a record that should ring alarm bells with the venues where it is scheduled to appear,” said VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker. “All its performances should be cancelled.”