Written by Michelle Kretzer
The record penalty
paid by Ringling Bros. and Barnum &
for violations of federal animal welfare laws has so far made no difference for
the lame and suffering elephants the circus forces to travel and perform for
months at a time. So PETA has sent an urgent appeal to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) asking that the agency order a comprehensive, independent
evaluation of the elephants and prohibit Ringling from taking elephants in
distress on the road.
Accompanied by PETA's captive
wildlife specialist, two veterinarians with decades of elephant experience
attended multiple Ringing shows and expressed serious concerns about the health
and well-being of eight elephants. One elephant was observed with an abscessed
toenail (foot problems are the number one reason why elephants in the U.S. are
euthanized), and another had diarrhea.
All eight displayed
severely abnormal behaviors and have extensive scarring from being struck with bullhooks.
Fifty-four-year-old elephants Aussan and Sarah
have shown a dramatic decline in their physical condition during the past few
The experts also saw
a zebra escape from an enclosure during a show and a tiger whose tail was caught in a cage
cannot wait while the USDA pats itself on the back for penalizing Ringling.
Please click here
to urge the USDA to take immediate enforcement action to get Aussan, Sarah, and
all the other elephants suffering for Ringling off the road for good.
Written by PETA
Update: Because it is illegal in Ohio to use a bullhook
on an elephant, PETA is offering a $5,000 reward to any arena employee who
documents use of the bullhook if it leads to a citation against Ringling Bros. circus.
Originally posted October 4, 2011
star, animal defender, and Ohio native Chrissie Hynde has sent a letter to Cleveland officials to remind them
that there is a ban in the state against using prods
like bullhooks and "hot
shots" on animals in circuses and asked for confirmation
that humane authorities would make sure Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
doesn't use them on elephants when the circus comes
to town next month. In
response the letter, the mayor wrote that the city shares Chrissie's concerns
and that "[a]n inspection will be conducted and the event monitored to
ensure that the use of bullhooks and other devices that cause harm to circus
animals are not used during the Cleveland event."
be watching to make sure that the mayor keeps his word, but we won't be
watching the circus, and neither should you.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
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.