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Circus animals fare badly

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Re: Circus coming to town riles animal rights activist, (Journal, June 12). Thank you for focusing some attention on the controversy about the Carson & Barnes Circus’ treatment of animals. You don’t have to take PETA’s word for it: the circuses’ record is readily available to the public. A judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stated that abuse revealed on a PETA undercover video showing a Carson & Barnes trainer attacking terrified elephants with a sharp metal bullhook and shocking them with an electric prod, is in violation of the Animal Welfare Act. U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports, which are provided to anyone who requests them, show the Carson & Barnes Circus has been cited for failure to provide animals with veterinary care, adequate space and ventilation, shelter from the elements, and clean drinking water. The circus has been cited by the USDA at least eight times for failing to maintain its animal-transport trailers. The circus has paid almost $1,000 in fines. Bullhooks are rods resembling a fireplace poker with a sharp, metal hook on the end. You can watch a Carson & Barnes trainer using one on screaming elephants online. Jennifer O’Connor, Animals in Entertainment Campaign Writer, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Norfolk, Va.