Warning: Animal abuse footage appears in the video above.
“Manchester By The Sea” star Casey Affleck has teamed up with PETA for a new video calling on families to boycott circuses because of their abusive treatment of the animals they bring in to perform under the big top.
The new PETA video shows footage of circus trainers keeping tigers in uncomfortably small cages and beating them to force them to perform tricks like jumping through flaming rings.
“This industry tears families apart and subjects individuals to a life of torment and deprivation,” says Affleck. “[Trainers] drag the big cats around by heavy chains or ropes around their necks and hit them with sticks, poles, and whips. They beat them mercilessly and bully them into jumping through hoops.”
Affleck’s PSA comes a month after the famed Ringling Bros. Circus announced that it would be closing after 133 years of performances. Ringling Bros. had come under fire from animal rights activists for their treatment of their animal performers. The circus’ ownership group, Feld Entertainment, paid a fine of $270,000 in 2011 for alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act and had previously removed elephants entirely from their show after public pressure. Ringling Bros. will hold their final show in May.
But while the “Greatest Show On Earth” is coming to an end, PETA is still going after smaller circuses that they claim are also abusing their animals.
“I choose to work in the entertainment industry,” Affleck, an Oscar nominee this year, says in the video, adding, “but animals in circuses and other traveling shows are never given a choice.”
Watch Affleck, along with disturbing images of animal abuse, in the clip above.