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Ark. National Guard nixes circus after PETA alert

The Arkansas National Guard canceled circus performances at four Arkansas armories after PETA alerted them to allegations of animal abuse.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas National Guard canceled circus performances at four Arkansas armories after PETA alerted them to allegations of animal abuse.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture alleged 33 violations against the Florida-based Liebel Family Circus in December that include keeping an elephant named Nosey chained too tightly and allowing a spider monkey named Reggie to escape.

A National Guard spokesman said the agency canceled the circus' rental of the facilities without an independent investigation after contacted by PETA. Officials say revenue gained from the circus' rental would have gone toward military morale, welfare and recreation programs such as Christmas presents for children or teambuilding exercises.

Circus owner Hugo Liebel has disputed the allegations. USDA attorneys have recommended a suspension or revocation of his Animal Welfare Act license.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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