Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA has joined Animal Defenders International in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for illegally issuing
permits allowing the Ringling
Bros. circus to export endangered tigers and elephants for use in its shows anywhere at any
time for the next three years!
FWS has allowed incomplete permit applications from Ringling
for far too long. It is illegal to export endangered animals, and the
Endangered Species Act includes exceptions to this prohibition only in the most
limited of circumstances. To get a permit, an application containing very
specific information needs to be submitted to FWS—and as a matter of law, all this
information must be made available to the public.
FWS violated this requirement in numerous ways by issuing
these latest permits. First, it didn't tell the public about four of the
elephants Ringling sought to export, so PETA and the public were illegally
deprived of some of the information related to the applications. In addition,
the permit applications to which the public was
given access lacked extensive information required by law, including details about
when, to where, and for how long Ringling intends to export the animals as well
as specific data about Ringling's supposed conservation education activities,
which it used as justification for the permit.
Because concerned citizens were denied this information—and
because FWS must stop illegally rubber-stamping incomplete permit applications—PETA
has filed suit.
There's no telling how much these animals will be forced to
endure abroad, where, in many countries, animal protection laws are scarce and
enforcement is even less common. One of the elephants FWS is allowing Ringling
to export is Sarah, who tested positive for tuberculosis and was taken off the
road after collapsing last
year in Anaheim, California—and after the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited Ringling for failing to treat her adequately for a chronic infection.
At home or abroad, Ringling is bad news for animals, which
is why more and more people are speaking out against the circus's inexcusable
cruelty. Help the animals abused by Ringling by adding your voice at RinglingBeatsAnimals.com.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.