Arkansas National Guard Cancels Circus Accused Of 33 Animal Violations

The Arkansas National Guard said Tuesday that it canceled four shows by a circus after the guard learned about alleged animal welfare violations from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The shows had been scheduled for Batesville, Crossett, Magnolia and Malvern from February 21 to February 25.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture alleged 33 violations of the Animal Welfare Act against the Florida-based Liebel Family Circus in December that include keeping an elephant named Nosey chained too tightly and allowing a spider monkey named Reggie to escape.

The USDA alleges circus owner Hugo Liebel misrepresented the identity of Nosey the elephant, sometimes calling her “Dumbo” or “Peanut”. The USDA also alleges Liebel lied about the beast’s age, claiming she was 15 when she is really 30 years old.

USDA attorneys have recommended a suspension or revocation of Liebel’s Animal Welfare Act license.

The circus owner denies the USDA’s claims in a 29-page item-by-item response. A hearing before a USDA administrative law judge has yet to be set.

Here’s how Liebel defended himself. From Associated Press:

“I am a good man and a good human being, and before I go to bed all of my animals will be fed, watered, cleaned and loved,” the 59-year-old Hungarian immigrant said.

PETA administrator Delcianna Winders said the group learned about the Liebel Family Circus’ planned Arkansas performances on Facebook.

“We’re constantly monitoring them,” Winders said. “We’re extremely concerned about Nosey the elephant.”

Arkansas National Guard spokesman Maj. Chris Heathscott said the guard discovered the allegations two working days before the performances, which were suspended and later canceled.


“The cancelation is very important and shows the National Guard Armory will not tolerate animal abuse and public endangerment, and shows members of the public there are alternative forms of entertainment that don’t involve exploitation of animals,” Winders said.

Kudos to the Arkansas National Guard for doing the right thing.

But do we really need circuses with their spectacles of wild animals being mistreated? Why not boycott them altogether? What do you think?

Related Stories

Ringling Circus Slapped With Biggest Fine Ever ($270,000)

Victory: Peru Bans Wild Animals In Circuses

Historic Bill Protects U.S. Circus Animals (Slideshow)

Photo Credit: King Kong 911


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

Neville B.
Neville B2 years ago;jsessionid=E745D77158F6DF687BA7CB9E250C1972.app314a?df_id=28817&28817.donation=form1&set.custom.Campaign_Code=I15XWKXXXXK&autologin=true&ga_title=Tm9zZXkgdGhlIEVsZXBoYW50IE5lZWRzIFlvdXIgSGVscCBpbiBGbG9yaWRhIQ==#.VqLnJikGGz0.wordpress

Suzanne Michael
Suzanne Michael2 years ago

I find it hard to believe with all the information out there that parents are still taking their children to a place that everyone else knows abuses animals! You're telling them that it's alright to use them as property and that we can do what we want to them. When instead they should be teaching them that God loves everything on our planet and we're to care for every animal. And then we wonder why we're going to hell in a hand basket because no one cares about anything.An old Native proverb says when we die the first thing we'll encounter is all the animals we knew. I hope that's true, but some I'm sure don't!

Mary K.
M. C4 years ago

Boycott ! Just don't spend your hard earned money there. Get them where it hurts - their pocketbooks.

Filomena Correia
Filomena C4 years ago

Thanks God!

carole fraser
carole Fr,aser4 years ago

Ban all circuses for good cruel ,evil ,vile people who run then animals being EXPLOYTED AND THEY HAVE A LIFE OF HELL.

Phyl M.
Dai M4 years ago

Every circus has to STOP using any animal in their shows. There should be a law to ban animals performing anywhere.

Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago


Carrie Anne Brown

glad they canceled thanks for sharing :)

Michelle R.
Michelle R5 years ago

I've been reading about the concerns of Nosey for years now. This elephant has had a skin condition for years, untreated and is chained when not performing. Shame. Nosey needs to be confiscated and sent to a sanctuary. We, the United States, needs to BAN all animal act circuses. Kudos to the Arkansas National Guard. I'm impressed.