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Thursday, January 6,2011

Supporting animals

PETA recognizes two Lansing area businesses that it says won’t sponsor the circus

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, Jan. 6 — At least one Lansing-area business that supports animal rights has vowed not to sponsor the annual Caravan Circus.

Comfort Inn and Suites in Dimondale will receive the Compassionate Business Award from PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — for not sponsoring circuses that use animals, according to a release by the animal rights group Wednesday.

PETA also says Hawk Hollow Properties has made the same commitment, though a company representative could not be reached for comment. The real estate company manages properties near the three golf courses just north of East Lansing near Chandler Road.

Arvin Ayar, general manager of the Comfort Inn and Suites, said the hotel is “not trying to make a statement” by not sponsoring the circus, but has an overall commitment to not condone animal cruelty.

He said he made the commitment to PETA after he learned from the group that the Caravan Circus has been cited for animal cruelty violations. Ayar said the Comfort Inn has never sponsored the circus.

A circus representative could not be reached for comment.

David Perle, a spokesman for PETA, said 20 awards were given out to individuals and businesses in 2010.

The Caravan Circus, also known as the Royal Hanneford Circus, is held annually at Michigan State University. The circus is tentatively scheduled to be at MSU’s Breslin Center again March 11-13, and has been coming to campus since 1992. It was held at the Lansing Civic Center from 1981 to 1991.

However, in 2009, MSU administrators canceled the circus for the first time in its nearly 30-year history because of objections by an animal rights student group on campus.

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