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.
Written by PETA
© Comstock/ Wildlife/ Jupiter Images
UPDATE: The deadline has passed
to weigh in on the Fish and Wildlife Service's decision about keeping tigers
safe from animal abusers, but we will post an update as soon as the decision is
The following blog was originally posted September 9, 2011
One thing that you have to say about the notoriously abusive Hawthorn Corporation, which supplies animals for use in circuses and other shows, is that it has some nerve. Despite being cited more than 40 times for violations like feeding tigers moldy and inedible food, confining tigers for months on end in transport cages, denying them exercise or space to move around, and failing to provide veterinary care, Hawthorn has applied to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to force tigers to endure even more suffering by carting them around the world.
You would think that such an application, coming from a company that has accumulated $272,500 in penalties for violations of federal law, would be immediately tossed in the trash, but just to be on the safe side, PETA is appealing to the FWS to deny the application.
On a related note, a loophole in federal regulations has allowed animal abusers to harm, export, and sell endangered tigers without federal oversight if the tigers are considered "generic"—mixed breeds, in other words. The FWS is working to close that exemption.
Please ask the FWS to deny Hawthorn's application to import and exploit more tigers and voice your support to protect all tigers, "mutts" and purebreds alike.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
If you needed another reason not to do drugs, consider that
it's causing misery for countless tigers, lions, monkeys, birds, and other
exotic animals coveted by Mexican
drug cartel kingpins
as symbols of power. Mexican authorities have seized thousands of exotic "narco
pets" from the estates of busted drug lords, and they're running out of
room to place the animals. Many go to zoos, which are operating at capacity, so
some animals are turned over to breeding operations.
When security forces arrested Sinaloa cartel leader Jesus "The King"
they confiscated more than 200 animals, including peacocks and ostriches. The animals are regarded primarily as status symbols, and many are denied
proper nutrition and veterinary care. Some big cats are cruelly defanged and declawed.
The cartels have also used exotic animals in the same manner as human "mules"
by stuffing condoms filled with cocaine into their bodies before the animals
are shipped to the U.S.
The ideal solution to this problem would be a universal ban
on owning captive exotic
Until that happens, we can take an important step toward protecting captive
tigers here in the U.S. by closing a loophole that limits protections under the Endangered
Species Act for "generic" tigers—ones who are a mix of more than one sub-species of tiger or
are of unknown heritage. Please take a moment to write to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and ask the agency to protect all tigers equally.
Written by Joe Taksel
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will go far and wide to find more animals to exploit. Feld Entertainment, which owns this wretchedly cruel circus, has applied to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to import eight tigers and one leopard who are currently being used in a circus in Germany. PETA has submitted comments and extensive supporting materials in opposition to this application, including a statement from a renowned tiger expert.
The Endangered Species Act prohibits the importation of endangered species except for "scientific purposes" or to benefit the survival of the species. Hard to make any of that comport with Ringling's desire to haul the big cats around in boxcars and use whips to make them hop on their hind legs.
Federal law also strictly prohibits transporting any endangered species in the course of a "commercial activity," and there is no question that the Ringling Bros. Circus is exactly that. The law further prohibits harming, harassing, and wounding endangered species and requires that they be maintained under humane and healthful conditions. Ringling's well-documented history of animal abuse is clearly grounds to reject its import application, as PETA points out:
Please share this troubling information with all the parents you know and urge them never to buy a ticket to Ringling or any circus using animals.
Written by Jennifer O’Connor
Yesterday, PETA filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for illegally issuing a permit to an animal exhibitor that would allow the exhibitor to harm, harass, and wound endangered species.
PETA has found several instances in which the FWS issued endangered species permits—which may be issued for "scientific purposes" or to enhance survival of an endangered species—to seedy roadside zoos while improperly keeping the application and the permit from the public. Roadside zoos breed animals in deplorable conditions solely to turn a profit.
We filed suit over one particularly miserable menagerie, Windy Oaks Farm in Hanover, Virginia, which is under formal investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) after chimpanzees escaped from their enclosures three times, prompting PETA to call for an investigation.
Although captive chimpanzees are not currently listed as endangered, Windy Oaks' lack of experience with and knowledge of these complex and dangerous animals is indicative of its overall incompetence. The zoo has been cited by the USDA for failing to document when it acquired and disposed of animals and whether the animals had received veterinary care in more than a year. Windy Oaks also keeps endangered lemurs and gibbons, two species that have been known to attack humans.
Since PETA and the rest of the public were denied the right to view and comment on this application for a permit, we are taking the matter to court. We will keep you updated.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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
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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.