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SFX Entertainment : Elephant cruelty charges spark call to cancel circus in Raleigh

02/27/2015 | 09:43pm US/Eastern

Feb. 28--RALEIGH -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling for the cancellation of a circus performance in Raleigh after an allegation of cruelty to an elephant in Atlanta.

WTVR-TV reported that two people working with UniverSoul Circus had been charged with animal cruelty after a show in Atlanta this month. The circus is scheduled on March 3 to play Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, which is owned by the city and managed by Live Nation.

An animal control officer alleged that a handler had used a hooked pole on the inside of an elephant's mouth, breaking a local ordinance, the television station reported. WTVR reported that the circus's "ownership" also was charged.

"By canceling its plans to host UniverSoul, Walnut Creek Amphitheatre can send a clear message that it refuses to be complicit to UniverSoul's cruelty to animals," PETA wrote in an open letter to Live Nation. The letter also accused the circus of earlier mistreatment

Live Nation did not immediately respond to a request for comment. John Boyette, a spokesman for the city, deferred comment to UniverSoul.

A representative of UniverSoul provided a prepared statement.

"The UniverSoul Circus was both surprised and disappointed to learn that animal cruelty citations recently were issued to two individuals associated with the organization," it read.

The circus is cooperating with Fulton County animal control officials, the statement read. The statement claimed that two "independent veterinarians" found no signs of abuse in examining the elephant in question.

___

(c)2015 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Visit The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) at www.newsobserver.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

© Acquiremedia 2015

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