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Kate del Castillo promotes her new PETA video on the treatment of circus animals at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in Downtown Miami.
The Mexican actress joined PETA Latino representatives to present the video in front of the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in downtown.
"As someone who knows the high demands of the entertainment industry, I encourage the public to never attend a circus that uses animals," del Castillo said. "The elephants used in circuses such as Ringling Brothers will never know what it is like to roam freely or live in peace with their families."
In the video, which is nearly four minutes in length, del Castillo narrates behind the scenes clips that show alleged abuse. The presentation was held one day before Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' first show in Miami.
"What they don't show you, and I didnt know, is the violence and pain inflicted on elephants tigers and other animals in order to force them to perform tricks," del Castillo says in the video.
She asks parents to teach their children about wild animals by watching educational videos of the animals in their natural habitats instead of taking them to the circus.
PETA has long protested Ringling brothers, saying the circus chains the animals for hours and beats them with bull hooks.
"In order to get them to perform tricks, they have to either beat them into submission or deprive them of food -- deprive them of anything that's natural to them," said PETA spokeswoman Renee Saldana.
Meanwhile, Ringling spokesman Stephen Payne said this video is another attempt to disparage the men and women who care for the circus animals.
"I would question [del Castillo's] expertise about caring for endangered Asian elephants," Payne said. "I'm guessing her expertise, like that of organization PETA that sponsors her, is limited, whereas we have 144 years experience."
Payne encourages those who attend the circus to visit its Animal Open House, available 90 minutes before the show. There, guests can meet the circus' animal care personnel and learn about Ringling's conservation efforts in the countries where their animals come from.
"To be honest, PETA does nothing to make sure these endangered species survive," Payne said.
Del Castillo's presentation Wednesday was part of PETA's campaign to raise awareness on animal cruelty within the Latino community, and Saldana said there has been an overwhelming response.
"Kate tweeted her video yesterday. Our server almost crashed because so many people watched it," she said.
Saldana said the group delivered a letter to Miami-Dade Mayor Carolos Gimenez, signed by del Castillo, urging the county to enforce a law on exhibiting crippled animals. Although she said the group has not yet heard back from the mayor's office, spokeswoman Suzy Trutie said the mayor has not yet received a letter from PETA via email or postal delivery.
Del Castillo's video is available in both English and Spanish. Watch the English version below.