Activists are targeting theUniverSoul Circus today because it apparently uses captive wild animals as part of the entertainment. The show says the animals are well-treated.

The production has been on the Inglewood stop of its “Mash It Up” tour since March 16, but Animal Defenders International (ADI) is asking you to stay away:

The group says in a statement sent to the Weekly:

Studies of the use of wild animals in traveling circuses show that circuses cannot meet the physical or behavioral needs of wild animals. Animals are confined in small spaces, deprived of physical and social needs, spending excessive amounts of time shut in transporters. These animals are often seen behaving abnormally; rocking, swaying and pacing, all indicating that they are in distress and not coping with their environment. ADI's video evidence has shown how these animals are forced to perform tricks through physical violence, fear and intimidation.

ADI supporters will be outside the gates as UniverSoul Circus continues its Hollywood Park (1050 South Prairie Ave.) stand today. Demonstrations are planned from 3 to 4 p.m. and again from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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ADI president Jan Creamer contends that …

… when families find out about the routine abuses that go on behind the scenes at circuses, they will be shocked and will not want to expose their children to this cruelty.

UniverSoul Circus says it has never been accused of abusing animals and welcomes animal-welfare monitors. It sent us this statement:

The UniverSoul Circus is committed to the proper treatment of animals. We strongly oppose any form of cruelty or mistreatment of animals, wild or domestic – and will not tolerate any mistreatment on our circus site. In over 19 years and more than 8,600 performances, none of our animal vendors have ever been cited for animal abuse while performing at the UniverSoul Circus.

UniverSoul Circus understands and supports all efforts to monitor and regulate the treatment of animals. We work closely with local, state and federal agencies to ensure that our commitment to a high standard of animal care is upheld. Any and all animal acts that perform with the circus must be in compliance with federal, state and local authorities.

The UniverSoul Circus will continue to deliver high quality, family friendly entertainment that brings joy, happiness and laughter to audiences around the world.

[@dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

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