Barnum’s Animals Crackers packaging changed to show beasts in the wild

Campaigners had said the traditional design showed creatures in captivity.

A box of Nabisco Barnum’s Animals crackers on the shelf of a local grocery store in Des Moines, Iowa (Charlie Neibergall/AP)
A box of Nabisco Barnum’s Animals crackers on the shelf of a local grocery store in Des Moines, Iowa (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

The packaging of Barnum’s Animals Crackers has been re-designed in response to complaints from animal rights campaigners.

Peta, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has been protesting against the use of animals in circuses for more than 30 years, wrote a letter to Mondelez, the parent company of Nabisco, in the spring of 2016 calling for a re-design.

“Given the egregious cruelty inherent in circuses that use animals and the public’s swelling opposition to the exploitation of animals used for entertainment, we urge Nabisco to update its packaging in order to show animals who are free to roam in their natural habitats,” Peta said in its letter.

Mondelez agreed and started working on a re-design.

File picture of packinging showing the animals behind bars (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

In the meantime, the crackers’ namesake circus, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, folded for good.

The 146-year-old circus, which had removed elephants from its shows in 2016 because of pressure from Peta and others, closed down in May 2017 due to slow ticket sales.

The re-design of the boxes, now on US store shelves, retains the familiar red and yellow colouring and prominent Barnum’s Animals lettering.

But instead of showing the animals in circus-style cages, the new boxes feature a zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe and gorilla wandering side-by-side in a grassland.

The outline of acacia trees can be seen in the distance.

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