A PETA protest aimed at a traveling circus that spent its weekend performing in Dubuque fell far short. PETA has a video that the group claims shows abuse of elephants in the Carson and Barnes Circus and the group sent city leaders a letter asking the Dubuque City Council to ban bull hooks, electric prods and other devices that inflict pain on elephants.

But Ben Trumble, a spokesman for the circus, says PETA’s animal cruelty charge is baseless. “Our circus has never been charged with a violation of the Animal Welfare Act for animal cruelty,” he says. Trumble says the video PETA’s peddling was shot in the mid-1990s, and the trainer in the video is shouting at other trainers, not elephants.

Spectators at the Carson and Barnes Circus in Dubuque weren’t swayed by PETA’s protest. One man said PETA is always “picking on about anybody and anything.” Another spectator called PETA’s animal abuse claims “propaganda.” The Carson and Barnes Circus gave performances Saturday and Sunday in Dubuque.

The circus is based in Oklahoma and has moved on to stops in Illinois and Wisconsin this week.