PETA announces plans to protest circus-goers at the BJCC Saturday

PETA supporters announced plans for a protest Saturday at the BJCC, where the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is performing. (

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Protesters with the largest animal rights organization in the world -- the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA{} --{} are planning to{}confront potential circus-goers at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Saturday at the BJCC Arena, the group announced in a release today.

According to PETA, an elephant will lead{}demonstrators{}with signs that read, "This Is Ringling Baby-Elephant Training," emblazoned with{}photos taken inside Ringling's training center.

The photos, {}according to PETA, expose how baby elephants used by Ringling are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with steel-tipped bull hooks, and shocked with electric prods.

Members with the organization said, "These{}abusive sessions go on for several hours a day in order to force the baby elephants to learn to perform circus tricks out of fear of punishment."

"Birmingham residents would run screaming from the big top if they knew how baby elephants are violently forced to perform difficult, confusing, and sometimes painful tricks," says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. "Since children love animals, the last place that parents and grandparents should take them to is the circus."

In late 2011, Ringling Bros. paid the largest fine in circus history$270,000for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

The protest begins at 1:30 p.m.