PETA protests Ringling Bro. and Barnum & Bailey Circus - Tucson News Now

PETA protests Ringling Bro. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is returning to Phoenix with Built to Amaze, the 143rd edition of The Greatest Show On Earth.

In a protest, an elephant mascot for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals limped down Adams Street on Wednesday afternoon in downtown Phoenix. PETA claim all circus animals are treated inhumanely.

A circus spokesperson said, "Sadly, animal rights activists have used our return to once again distort Ringling Bros. commitment to animal care."

Jessica Burke, a spokeswoman for PETA, says their goal is to get people to stop going to any circus that has animals.

PETA said in late 2011, Ringling Bros. paid the largest fine in circus history, $270,000, for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

"Contrary to the opinions of animal rights groups, Ringling Bros. has never been found in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act and is regularly inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), state and local animal welfare authorities, including in Phoenix. Those same animal activists will no doubt continue to distort the care and commitment we have for all of our animal performers. Rather than take what they say at face value, we invite Phoenix area families to come see for themselves how our animals are truly thriving at The Greatest Show On Earth," circus organizers said.

The circus will start shows Wednesday and will go until Sunday evening.

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