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Associated Press, Published September 28 2012

Animal activists say they'll protest circus visit to Bismarck

BISMARCK — Members of an animal activist group say they'll protest the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Friday before it begins three days of shows in Bismarck.

A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the circus mistreats baby elephants as part of teaching them how to perform tricks. He says the circus uses steel-tipped bullhooks and electric prods during training.

The circus is performing Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Bismarck Civic Center. The PETA spokesman says the protest will take place at noon Friday, near the Civic Center.

A circus spokesman says PETA distorts circus animal care and training methods, and says Ringling Brothers runs a center for elephant conservation. He says he hopes families around Bismarck see for themselves how the animals are treated.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.