Tell Nasdaq to Stop Promoting Animal Abuse


Target: Robert Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq Inc.

Goal: Stop promoting UniverSoul Circus, a company notorious for animal exploitation.

This year, Nasdaq stock exchange hosted UniverSoul Circus at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square, even allowing one of the show’s human performers to ring the Nasdaq Stock Market Closing Bell. Evidently, Nasdaq is unbothered by the exploitation of innocent sentient beings.

UniverSoul Circus has a history of mistreating animals and working with well-known animal abusers. For example, the circus employs Mitchel Kalmanson, who was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for keeping big cats confined in cages that did not allow them to stretch to their full height and length. He also neglected to properly address a female tiger’s leg injury despite the fact that she was visibly limping.

UniverSoul Circus does not have an exhibitor license from the USDA. This means they have to rent animals from licensed exhibitors. It also means that they cannot be cited for animal welfare violations, since they do not own the animals in question. However, dozens of exhibitors contracted by UniverSoul Circus have been cited for failing to meet minimum federal standards for the care of animals used in entertainment. Clearly, the owners of UniverSoul Circus are not vigilant about ensuring that the animals used for their shows are treated humanely. It’s all about profit.

It is well known that animals forced to perform in circuses are trained in extremely violent and cruel ways. Weapons like whips, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks and tight collars are routinely employed by trainers. The animals perform during the shows because are afraid of what will happen to them if they don’t. By hosting and promoting UniverSoul Circus, Nasdaq supports the grotesque abuse and exploitation of non-human animals.

Please sign the below petition, urging Nasdaq to disavow nefarious circus acts like UniverSoul, and to make their future ceremonies cruelty-free.


Dear Mr. Greifeld,

I was troubled to learn that your company hosted UniverSoul Circus at Nasdaq’s Closing Bell ceremony in Times Square.

As most everyone knows, circuses that feature animals are guilty of some of the most flagrant violations of the Animal Welfare Act. UniverSoul Circus is no exception. They repeatedly hire animal exhibitors who are notorious for mistreating and abusing the animals in their care. One of these exhibitors, Mitchel Kalmanson, was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for keeping big cats in cages that were not big enough for the animals to stretch and turn around in.

Animals trained to perform tricks are routinely subjected to violent and inhumane treatment. Whips, muzzles, electric prods, bullhooks and tight collars are just a few of the implements used to render these wild animals obedient. They perform only because they are afraid of what will happen to them if they don’t.

With this in mind, I respectfully urge you to cease promoting companies like UniverSoul Circus. Please ensure that all of your future ceremonies are cruelty-free.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: bfishadow on Flickr

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  1. Steve Baer says:

    Please refrain from showing support for industries which enslave, torture, or murder exotic animals for the purpose of human entertainment.

    Animals do not belong in the circus.

  2. Gerard FABIANO says:


  3. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared. ?

  4. Why is it that even though everyone has learned about the suffering endured by animals in circuses such as UniverSoul Circus, NASDAQ still had abused animals ring the closing bell?

    For a long time now, UniverSoul Circus has been employing animal abusers who have been violating the Animal Welfare Act. For instance, Mitchel Kalmanson was cited two times within only four months. The cages were too small for the animals “ . . . to make normal postural adjustments . . . “, and even one of the handlers stated that the cats were confined to the cages 24 hours per day, all week long, for all four to seven weeks that they were on the road, and, at times, longer.

    What’s worse, two elephants who are now touring with the circus have previously produced five+ years of reactive tuberculosis tests, which indicates that they may very well be TB-positive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, elephants, for instance, can carry TB and transmit it to the public, even without direct contact. These animals are putting the public, circus workers, and other animals at risk. And, we will never know whether these animals have TB or not because the USDA no longer requires TB tests for animals in circuses or zoos even though there is a TB epidemic in elephants in the U.S. right now. Furthermore, zebras, part of UniverSoul’s act, have bolted from the circus two times in the past six months, running throughout the streets.

    Please do not include UniverSoul Circus or any other captive animal shows in future NASDAQ plans. Thank you.

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