On March 14th, the Osiris Shrine Circus is coming to Wheeling, WV. They promise animal acts that include elephants and tigers, as well as opportunities for children to ride and pet different animals.
Wheeling is a city that has memorialized the beauty of the elephant with a life size elephant statue in the heart of their city. Which is why it is so disturbing that they would once again invite animal cruelty and abuse by allowing the Osiris Shrine Circus to come to town. Circuses that include animals are largely condemned as cruel, even by the likes of the disgraced Ringling Brothers Circus.
Animals, especially tigers and elephants, do not belong in any circus. But Shrine circuses are known for turning a blind eye to animal abuse. They have a long list of abuse citations from the USDA, and the company is listed as one of the top 10 worst circuses for animal cruelty and abuse.
Each Shrine Temple individually produces its own circus using leased animals from such companies as Carson & Barnes, George Carden Circus, Jordan World Circus, Tarzan Zerbini Circus, Circus Gatti, Royal Hanneford Circus, and the Hawthorn Corporation. Almost every exhibitor of Shrine-leased animals has failed to meet minimal federal standards under the Animal Welfare Act for the care of animals used in the circus.
The USDA has cited Shrine Circus animal exhibitors for failing to provide veterinary care; failing to provide adequate food, water, and shelter from the elements; and failing to handle animals in a manner that ensures their safety as well as public safety. Animals used in Shrine circuses have rampaged, causing human deaths and injuries.
Animal exhibitors hired by Shrine circuses also have atrocious records of animal care, including denying suffering animals veterinary attention and physically abusing them. A trainer with Carson & Barnes was caught on video viciously beating elephants. And last summer, an eyewitness testified to seeing a Carson & Barnes handler strike an elephant with a bullhook until she screamed.
It's sad that a non-profit for children would exploit the innocence of captive animals for money. There are other ways to raise money for their cause that does not involve animal abuse. And it's past time that Wheeling, WV comes out of the dark ages and joins the new world where animal abuse and cruelty are no longer accepted or tolerated.
Join us in calling on the Wheeling city managers to cancel this disgraceful display of animal cruelty. Please sign the petition to tell the city of Wheeling, WV: no more animal cruelty in our city!
(Should the show go on, it will be highly protested by protesters fighting against Circus Cruelty and the City that allows it.) Thank you.