Written by Jeff Mackey
Following multiple investigation requests from PETA, the Chicago Inspector General (IG) launched a probe of the city's regulation of circuses and other animal exhibitors. Now, the IG has released its report, with recommended changes to licensing and permitting procedures.
Behind-the-Scenes Scandal at Ringling
Public records about Chicago's inspections of the notoriously inhumane Ringling Bros. circus in November 2010 documented numerous untreated medical conditions that appeared to clearly violate state and local animal protection laws. So in December 2010, PETA filed an investigation request asking that the IG determine why, in the face of compelling evidence of cruelty and neglect, the City of Chicago did nothing to provide relief to suffering animals or to hold Ringling responsible for its actions.
As detailed in PETA's request, several issues were noted during the 2010 inspection:
Despite this unequivocal information, no action was taken, and these elephants were forced to perform 20 times during Ringling's Chicago stand. In November 2011, PETA followed up with the IG's office to renew its request for an investigation.
Now, just before Ringling's 2012 Chicago appearances, scheduled for November 4 to 25, the IG has issued a report calling for changes in the way that the city handles circuses and other animal exhibitors, recommending the following:
The report also notes that under a new ordinance, the executive director of ACC has "additional discretion to work with a permittee to correct any violations or to issue fines or impose summary closure upon a finding of imminent hazard to the health of the animals."
PETA will be following up with the city, particularly in light of the fact that Nichole, Karen, and Sara are all scheduled to appear in Chicago again over the next few weeks and a recent independent expert's inspection report reveals that these animals' health still remains of significant concern.
What You Can Do
Please take a minute of your time to help spare Karen, Nicole, and Sara from additional suffering by politely urging Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack to stop folding to pressure from Ringling and to immediately seize these ailing elephants before it's too late—foot disorders and arthritis are the leading reasons for euthanasia in captive elephants.
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
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.