Jen O’Connor: Circus has horrible track record |

Jen O’Connor: Circus has horrible track record

Culpepper & Merriweather Circus’s notoriously awful history is in the public record. 

After finding that the circus “willfully failed to develop a plan of veterinary care” and endangered the health and development of a tiger cub because of poor nutrition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended the circus’ license in 2011. The agency said that the circus “demonstrated a shockingly cavalier attitude regarding the health and safety of animals” by neglecting to maintain an attending veterinarian, failing to provide tiger cubs with adequate nutrition and failing to provide a wounded tiger cub with care and treatment. 

While touring, a tiger gave birth to three cubs that were taken from her to be raised by a circus worker. Two of them died within weeks of their birth, and the third was later seized by inspectors after they found him confined to a dog carrier in the hot cab of a truck. 

The USDA has also cited this circus for hiring inexperienced animal handlers, failing to provide animals with shelter from the elements, failing to maintain the structural integrity of enclosures and transport vehicles and failing to provide animals with enough space to make normal postural adjustments.

Next time this circus drags animals into town, families that care about animals should steer clear.

Yours truly,

Jennifer O’Connor
Senior writer, PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Virginia

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