Seize Severely Injured Elephants from Negligent Circus


Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Goal: Confiscate ailing and tormented elephants from UniverSoul Circus and relocate them to animal sanctuaries

Elephants traveling with UniverSoul Circus have been suffering from debilitating arthritis, swollen faces, and lumped backs among other serious conditions. The circus’ elephant providers, Jorge and Luann Barreda, have a lengthy history of animal neglect. Despite some of the crippling symptoms these animals have developed, elephants have been forced to perform very strenuous physical acts.

After reviewing circus footage sent by animal rights group PETA, a veterinary expert from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined that one elephant had “serious arthritic and degenerative joint disease.” PETA further reveals that Jorge and Luann Barreda have been cited in the past for failing to provide medical attention to ailing animals, including an elephant with “a swollen area on her face that was secreting a heavy discharge” and one “suffering from a large lump on her back.” According to the USDA, denying the appropriate veterinary care to injured animals is an Animal Welfare Act violation and can be punishable by law.

The poor health of these animals–coupled with the tasking physical work and probable abuse inherent in circus training–all form a dangerous mixture. If the circus is allowed to keep these creatures, they will most likely be worked to death.

Sign the following petition to demand the USDA seize these very sick elephants and place them in refuges to rehabilitate. No animals should die for the sake of trivial entertainment.


Dear Mr. Vilsack,

Elephants are suffering mercilessly at UniverSoul Circus. Based on a recent medical consult with a USDA animal expert, PETA has revealed that a practically crippled elephant with “serious arthritic and degenerative joint disease” is being forced to perform. Another elephant with a severely swollen back has also been sighted. Because of these animals’ extremely unhealthy symptoms, it is imperative that they be seized and given the appropriate medical care.

Elephant providers for the circus, Juan and Luann Barreda, have denied animals the proper veterinary care many times in the past. PETA claims that in December 2013, the couple was cited for “failing to give veterinary care to an elephant who had a swollen area on her face that was secreting a heavy discharge.” Just two weeks ago, another elephant “suffering from a large lump on her back” was spotted at UniverSoul Circus.

Circus training is inherently cruel, and elephant training is especially barbaric. Elephants are frequently poked with bullhooks, whipped, and beaten. In their dire condition, the UniverSoul elephant’s could possibly die from the combination of sickness and strain. For this reason, I urge you to seize the elephants and place them in safe homes to recuperate. Their lives are worth much more than simple entertainment.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Usien via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. We need to be United.

  2. Remove all the animals from this circus and make all circuses with animals illegal now!!!!

  3. Carolyn Ellertson says:

    I never realized until recently what they were subjected to in order to be trained. As an animal lover and one who has trained domestic animals, I know their methods are evil and unnecessary. Like millions of others, I have taken children to the circus (one time), and it was fascinating, but now… unuhh. It will never be the same for me.

  4. Wilma Compton says:

    Free all circus animals,no animal such be treated the way circus animals are.

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