Public Warned To Avoid Circus Performances Due To Serious Animal Welfare And Public Safety Concerns PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Catherine Doyle   
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 13:55
Circus performing In Illinois is target of federal charges following In Defense of Animals’ complaints

East Moline, Ill. (May 4, 2012) – Following multiple complaints made by In Defense of Animals (IDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has filed numerous charges against the Liebling Brothers Circus (aka Great American Family Circus) for willful violations of the Animal Welfare Act that include inhumane care and unsafe handling that put the public at risk. The circus will be performing this weekend in East Moline and at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds on May 5 and 6.

“The Liebling Brothers Circus has finally been exposed for its flagrant mistreatment of animals and for subjecting families and children to unsafe conditions,” said IDA Elephant Campaign Director Catherine Doyle. “Families that care about being kind to animals should avoid the Liebling Brothers Circus and any other circuses that force wild animals to perform.”

The more than 30 violations cited by the USDA include repeated noncompliance with federal requirements for veterinary care, safe handling, and housing from 2007 through 2011. The charges specifically cite:

•       Failure to provide veterinary care for elephant Nosey’s chronic skin condition, leaving her with thickened layers of dry, cracked dead skin
•       Chaining Nosey so tightly that she could not move or lie down, and keeping her in filthy conditions
•       Handling Nosey in a way that was dangerous to the public
•       The escape of a spider monkey

The USDA has also confirmed that yet another investigation is pending on Liebel, following recent complaints filed by IDA that concerned his children, who are minors, handling a dangerous wild animal in public (the elephant Nosey). This could lead to even more charges being filed. Nosey has a history of aggression, and seriously injured an inexperienced adult handler in 2004.

IDA has been monitoring this circus owned by Hugo Liebel for several years and has filed multiple complaints with the USDA for willful violations of federal animal protection law that endangered the animals and families attending the circus.

“This is just one more example of why wild animals do not belong in circuses, where they are cruelly trained, chained and intensively confined, and forced to travel and perform,” added IDA’s Doyle. “No compassionate family should want to be a part of that.”

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