PETA has sent a Compassionate Business Award to Santa Monica-based Macerich for its commitment to keeping exploited animals off the premises. Macerich — which owns more than 55 malls and other retail properties across the U.S. — now only hosts circuses with willing human performers in accordance with company policy and has committed never to partner with SeaWorld again after a short-term promotion of the park at several of its malls.

“As the tide of public opinion turns against forcing animals to perform confusing and painful tricks and trying to pass it off as entertainment, Macerich’s kind decision makes sound business sense,” says PETA Foundation Deputy Director Brittany Peet. “PETA is calling on other companies to follow in Macerich’s footsteps by keeping animal acts off their premises, too.”

PETA also praised the company for a 2010 ban on the sale of sugar gliders — fragile and nocturnal tree dwellers — after learning from PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” that the animals experience extreme stress and deprivation in captivity.

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