Columbia, Miss. — PETA has sent an urgent letter to Brigadier General Augustus L. Collins of the Mississippi National Guard, urging him to cancel plans to host an appearance at the Mississippi National Guard Readiness Center in Lucedale by the Great American Family Circus, the most recent alias adopted by the notorious Liebel Family Circus. In its letter, PETA points out that circus owner Hugo Liebel has an abysmal history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), and despite previously paying nearly $3,000 to settle violations of this law, Liebel now faces 33 new charges. The recent charges—which were filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) following a series of complaints lodged by PETA—include violating the AWA by keeping an elephant, Nosey, chained so tightly by two legs that she could barely move; by leaving an unattended monkey chained to a pony for more than an hour; and by allowing unsupervised public contact with Nosey, who attacked and sent a worker to the emergency room in 2004.
“No matter how many times he gets caught, Liebel continues to thumb his nose at animal welfare and customer safety,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “If the Mississippi National Guard goes ahead and hosts this cruel outfit, it will be virtually underwriting animal abuse and public endangerment.”
Other serious charges cited by the USDA include violating the AWA by failing to provide adequate veterinary care to Nosey, who has suffered for years from a condition that leaves “thickened layers of dead skin … with a dry, cracked appearance” on her legs, tail, back, sides, and face, and by allowing a spider monkey to escape and not recovering him for nearly six weeks.
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