Just days before Ringling Bros. arrives for its opening night in her hometown of Nashville, 13-year-old Noah Cyrus is urging the city’s school board — with a written and video appeal — to boycott the circus.
“Ringling routinely gives discounted tickets to schools, including Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, in order to increase its profits,” she writes in a letter. “The only thing that kids learn from a circus performance is that it’s acceptable to bully animals for human entertainment. That’s a terrible lesson that should never come with the school’s endorsement.”
Cyrus also stars in a new video targeted toward teens and tweens that reveals that circuses beat elephants and tigers to force them to perform. She hopes her young fans will say no whenever their friends, family members, or teachers suggest that they take a trip to the circus.
“We all know how awful bullies are, and circuses bully animals every day,” Cyrus says in the video. “Elephants used in circuses are forced to perform tricks by trainers who beat them and jab them with metal hooks. . . . And as for tigers—they get whipped when they don’t do exactly what the trainers want.” She adds, “You have the power to stop this cruelty by refusing to go to circuses and by telling your friends and family why.”
The abuse starts early for elephants at Ringling: PETA has obtained compelling photos taken inside Ringling’s breeding facility that expose how baby elephants are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. In 2011, Ringling Bros. paid the largest fine in circus history — $270,000 — for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Known for her film voiceover work and her appearances with sister Miley on Hannah Montana, Cyrus joins a growing list of celebrities — including Alec Baldwin, Edie Falco, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cloris Leachman, and Wilmer Valderrama — who have teamed up with PETA to speak out against circuses that abuse animals.
For more information, please visit PETAKids.com.