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Demonstrators Want to End 49 Years of Turtle Abuse at Brennan’s Irish Pub

On race night at Brennan’s in Marina del Rey, a captive turtle is held dangerously high to be displayed to a rowdy crowd in a pub flooded with bright lights and amplified sound. Photo: In Defense of Animals 

March 18, 2024

LOS ANGELES — On Thursday, March 21, dozens of caring Los Angelenos are expected to join In Defense of AnimalsLos Angeles for Animals and Los Angeles Animal Defense League to protest animal cruelty at Brennan’s Irish pub in Marina del Rey. Since 1975, Brennan’s has been exploiting turtles for entertainment and profit by holding races, which it calls “the world’s stupidest sport.” Turtles belong in peaceful, natural environments, not forced to amuse humans for cheap thrills. 

Who: Brittany Michelson –Campaign Specialist for Captive Animals for In Defense of Animals and founder of Desert Oasis Turtle & Tortoise Sanctuary, Cory Mac a’Ghobhainn with Los Angeles for Animals, and Anita Liao of Los Angeles Animal Defense League 

What: Protest against Brennan’s turtle races 

When: Thursday, March 21, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Where: Brennan’s, 4089 Lincoln Blvd, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/770107674576345

This crowded venue subjects turtles to the shouts and screams of dozens of rowdy customers who bet on a winner while an emcee directs the event over powerful loudspeakers. 

Reptile experts have called this environment inhumane and have raised serious concerns about the short and long-term health consequences of the chronic fear and stress it causes in these sensitive animals. 

Brennan’s website states that turtle racing is the “real sport of kings,” but animal exploitation is nothing to boast about. The bar also refers to the turtle races as a tradition, but there is no reason to perpetuate animal cruelty. 

Traditions that abuse non-consenting animals for entertainment and profit must end. 

Through an In Defense of Animals’ alert, over 11,000 animal defenders have contacted Brennan’s and its operating partner, Artisanal Brewers Collective asking Brennan’s to end its turtle races and replace them with an alternate activity that does not involve live animals.

“Turtles are not toys. They are sentient beings who experience stress and fear when subjected to loud, rowdy settings,” said Brittany Michelson, Campaign Specialist for Captive Animals at In Defense of Animals and founder of Desert Oasis Turtle & Tortoise Sanctuary in Arizona. “It is long past time for Brennan’s to end its tradition of animal exploitation. These turtles deserve to live in a peaceful outdoor environment, not used as tools for entertainment.”

Baywatch actress Alexandra Paul is speaking out to stop the abusive turtle races at Brennan’s: Photo: Alexandra Paul

“Brennan’s itself calls turtle racing the ‘world’s stupidest sport,’ but has been organizing these races for nearly half a century,” said former Baywatch actress and In Defense of Animals supporter Alexandra Paul. “It is time for Brennan’s to get smart and stop this cruel practice, which turtle experts agree is inhumane. There are many other forms of entertainment to offer that don’t involve harming animals.”

In Defense of Animals is an international animal rescue and protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of defending animals, the environment, and their guardians through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, rural Mississippi and California. www.idausa.org

Los Angeles for Animals and Los Angeles Animal Defense League are grassroots groups that organize animal rights demonstrations. LAFA is currently working hard on the Free Billy the elephant campaign at the Los Angeles Zoo and ADL is mainly focused on anti-fur campaigns.

CONTACT: In Defense of Animals, Brittany Michelson, [email protected], 928-420-0727

Turtles in a pen in the middle of the floor while patrons scream and yell.

  • […] Their rallying cry, “Turtles are not toys,” echoes a broader concern for the animals’ welfare, challenging the notion that animal exploitation for entertainment can be justified as tradition, reports Hews Media Group. […]