MEDIA RELEASE: Activists Increase Pressure to End Turtle Races at Brennan’s Bar

MEDIA RELEASE: Activists Increase Pressure to End Turtle Races at Brennan’s Bar

LOS ANGELES (June 11, 2024) — Despite growing opposition to turtle racing at Brennan’s in Marina del Rey, including from two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stars and a former Baywatch actor, the bar has refused to respond or end what it calls the “world’s stupidest sport.” On Saturday, June 8, In Defense of Animals, Los Angeles for Animals, and Los Angeles Animal Defense League returned to the bar to protest and get the message out to its weekend patrons. 

Since 1975, Brennan’s has been exploiting turtles for entertainment and profit by holding races. A boisterous crowd shouts and screams at turtles as rowdy customers bet on a winner while an emcee directs the event over a speaker. The overwhelming setting is stressful for turtles. Reptile experts have called this environment inhumane, raising serious concerns about the short-term and long-term health consequences of chronic fear and stress for these sensitive animals. 

Despite all the media coverage that resulted from a protest in late March, Brennan’s still refuses to respond or end its abusive turtle races. Every other Thursday night, Brennan's hosts the races. Two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a former Baywatch star have joined In Defense of Animals’ high-profile campaign to end the turtle races at Brennan’s. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stars Greg Cipes (left) and Brian Tochi (right) have spoken out to free the turtles forced to race at Brennan’s. Photos:, Shutterstock, Brian Tochi. 

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 justification for perpetuating animal cruelty. Traditions that abuse non-consenting animals for entertainment and profit must end. 

Through an In Defense of Animals alert, over 11,700 animal defenders have contacted Brennan's and its operating partner, Artisanal Brewers Collective, asking Brennan to end its turtle races and replace them with an alternate activity that does not involve live animals.

“The owners of Brennan’s have failed to respond to our request to have a meeting to discuss ending the turtle races and replace them with an alternate activity that does not involve animals,” said Brittany Michelson, Campaign Specialist for Captive Animals at In Defense of Animals and founder of Desert Oasis Turtle & Tortoise Sanctuary. “We’re going to keep the pressure on and continue to tell people not to visit this establishment until it ends these cruel races.”

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CONTACT: In Defense of Animals, Brittany Michelson,, 928-420-0727

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.

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. 


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