June 21st, 2012 by admin
When ARFF learned that Frank Murray, an elephant trainer traveling with the Piccadilly Circus, had been arrested on animal cruelty charges, we contacted Fort Lauderdale’s War Memorial Auditorium, as well as other venues in Florida scheduled to host the circus in July, and urged them to reconsider their association with the circus.
We’ve heard back from War Memorial Auditorium. Auditorium Manager Orlando Castellano wrote that the circus, “assured us that the situation has been addressed and that the trainer referenced in your comments will not be participating in their shows at War Memorial Auditorium. Further, the Piccadilly Circus has made it clear that they do not condone nor do they accept animal abuse, neglect or mistreatment.”
The circus was not entirely honest with Mr. Castellano. Following his arrest in New Jersey on May 10, Frank Murray quickly re-joined the circus. He was still traveling with the circus weeks later, in early June, when the State of Maine announced that Murray’s elephants would not be allowed into the state after testing positive for tuberculosis.
The Piccadilly Circus should have, but did not fire Frank Murray. Murray will not be with the circus when it arrives in Fort Lauderdale because he was already scheduled to perform at the Bristol Renaissance Faire (Kenosha, WI) during the month of July.
ARFF does not know what animals will be part of the circus when it arrives in Florida next month. If the Piccadilly Circus is sincere about not tolerating the abuse, neglect or mistreatment of animals, it would not include elephants or other wild animals in its traveling show.
ARFF will protest the Piccadilly Circus in Fort Lauderdale (July 16) and Orlando (July 20). Visit ARFF’s events calendar for details.