Missouri State University Shouldn't Bring Carden Circus To Campus
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Politics and Activism

Dear MSU Event Coordinators, Don't Bring The Animal Abuses At Carden Circus To Our Campus

This was the letter I sent to the John Q. Hammons arena authorities on our campus to try to keep an animal abuser off our campus. I was ignored.

Dear MSU Event Coordinators, Don't Bring The Animal Abuses At Carden Circus To Our Campus


I am writing on behalf of Missouri State University's Animal Rights club, as well as the thousands of animal-loving students and staff of MSU, to request that the authorities of JQH arena permanently deny Carden International Circus the opportunity to perform using wild animals in our on-campus venue.

Carden International Circus, Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) numerous times for failure to meet minimum federal standards for the care of animals used in exhibition as established in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The USDA has cited members of the Carden family for failing to provide adequate veterinary care, failing to handle animals properly, failing to have safe enclosures for animals, failing to provide animals with sufficient space, failing to provide tigers with proper nutrition, and more.

At least two Carden elephants tested positive for tuberulosis (TB). Others have been banned from performing because of the possibility that they were carrying TB, which could spread to humans. This potentially deadly disease is highly contagious — even without direct contact, since it's airborne. Seven people contracted it after being around infected elephants at a zoo. Nine others got it from a former circus elephant. Because of these serious dangers, numerous jurisdictions have refused to allow the Carden family to exhibit their elephants.

Please observe this complete list of all animal welfare violations that Carden International Circus has received.

Elephants, camels, and tigers used by these circuses are denied everything that is natural and important to them as they're hauled around the country and forced to perform for rowdy crowds. Wild animals used by circuses have endured vicious beatings to break their spirits, but they're still dangerous wild animals who sometimes run amok, leading to disastrous consequences. Elephants, tigers, and other animals that circuses use to entertain audiences do not stand on their heads, jump through hoops, or balance on pedestals because they qant to.

Animals perform these and other difficult tricks because they are afraid of what will happen if they don't.

To force animals to perform, circus trainers abuse them with whips, tight collars, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks (heavy batons with a sharp steel hook on one end), and other painful tools of the circus trade. There are loads of exciting and innovative productions that dazzle audiences without animal acts, as we see every year in the JQH arena! Missouri State University should commit to supporting our pillar of ethical leadership.

A circus that abuses animals is anything but ethical.

Animal Rights Club, as well as the animal-loving student body at MSU, urges the JQH Arena Event Coordinators and authorities to show compassion for animals and keep the public safe by barring Carden International Circus from performing on our campus, and forbid them form using these animals in their performance on campus.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Alyssa Angér

Missouri State University student and member of Animal Rights Club

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