Urge Circus World to Ban Acts Featuring Abused Animals!

Over the years, the Liebel Family Circus has tried to evade scrutiny by operating under a
variety of different names, but owner Hugo Liebel’s deplorable treatment of
animals continues to catch up with him. Having already been fined nearly $3,000 for violations of the federal
Animal Welfare Act, Liebel has now been
charged by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with 
33 new violations,
including keeping an elephant named Nosey chained so tightly by two legs that
she could barely move and potentially exposing her to serious infections by allowing
manure to accumulate in her feet
.

Other violations include leaving a chained monkey on a pony’s back
unattended for an hour and letting Nosey suffer from a chronic, inadequately
treated skin condition and unexplained rapid weight loss. However, despite
being notified of these charges in January and being contacted repeatedly by
PETA, the Circus World Museum, which
hosted Liebel last year, has yet to commit to
implementing a policy that
prohibits working with animal exhibitors who have had formal charges filed
against them by the USDA for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The
museum has even failed to state that it will not host Liebel again
.

PETA has been filing complaints
against Liebel since a whistleblower contacted us in 2004 to let us know that
he had been knocked off his feet by Nosey. Since then, we have found that Liebel
has repeatedly failed to provide Nosey with adequate veterinary care for a
chronic skin ailment and her overgrown footpads. (Foot ailments are the leading
cause of death in captive elephants.) We’ve filed more than a
dozen complaints since 2009 about Nosey and the other animals traveling with
Liebel, including several that were filed just prior to the USDA inspections
that resulted in some of the charges.

You can help stop the
Liebel Family Circus from neglecting animals in its care by taking a moment now
to send a quick e-mail urging Circus World (
sfreese@circusworldmuseum.com) and its
board at the Wisconsin Historical Society (
langill@uwm.edu and margaret.maly@wisconsinhistory.org) to pledge not to host acts featuring abused animals—especially
the elephant Nosey! Feel free to use the form letter below, but remember that
personalization helps to ensure that your message is read.

Message

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to urge the Circus World Museum and the Wisconsin Historical Society Board of Curators to immediately implement a policy prohibiting Circus World from working with animal exhibitors who have had formal charges filed against them by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Last year, Circus World hosted the Liebel Family Circus (dba Florida State Family Entertainment, Florida State Family Circus, Liebling Bros. Circus, and Liebling Bros. Family Circus), which was recently formally charged with almost three dozen violations of the AWA. The charges against Liebel include keeping an elephant named Nosey–who appeared at Circus World last year–chained so tightly by two legs that she could not lie down and could barely move; repeatedly denying Nosey necessary veterinary care; potentially exposing Nosey to serious infections by allowing manure to accumulate in the overgrown soles of her feet, despite knowing that foot ailments are the leading cause of death in captive elephants; and repeatedly allowing unsupervised public contact with Nosey, who has hit a Liebel employee on the back of the head with her trunk in the past, sending him to the hospital. Other violations include leaving a chained monkey on a pony’s back unattended for an hour.

These violations are particularly alarming considering that Liebel was previously fined $3,000 for failing to adhere to the minimum standards of the AWA. Furthermore, these charges involve behavior that would violate Baraboo and Wisconsin cruelty-to-animals laws were it to occur at Circus World, including the city’s prohibition on neglect and its requirements that animals receive adequate veterinary care (Baraboo Code of Ordinances § 12.13) as well as the state’s requirements that each animal have sufficient space to allow freedom of movement (Wisconsin Code § 951.14(3)(b)).

Surely, Circus World and the Wisconsin Historical Society do not want to affiliate themselves with cruelty to animals or with such extensive AWA violations or to subject themselves to potential criminal liability for harboring a neglected animal or civil liability for allowing dangerous, unsupervised contact with an elephant. Will you please act in behalf of the animals used by Liebel and ensure public safety now by immediately implementing a policy that prohibits Circus World from working with animal exhibitors who have had formal charges filed against them by the USDA for violations of the AWA, including Liebel?

It is in your power to help ensure that animals forced to perform at Circus World are not cruelly abused and to disallow any further opportunity to endanger members of the public. Thank you for your timely attention to this urgent issue.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

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Article source: PETA Action Alerts

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