Written by Jennifer OConnor
It took a PETA
lawsuit to compel the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to change course,
but after three decades of secretly and illegally issuing hundreds of Endangered Species Act (ESA) permits to circuses, roadside zoos, and other animal
exploiters, the FWS will change its ways.
"captive-bred wildlife (CBW) permits"—previously allowed animal
exhibitors like the notorious Ringling Bros. circus
and Have Trunk Will Travel to harm and harass captive-bred endangered animals like Asian
elephants without any public scrutiny or comments on their plans. Now, anytime circuses
and operators of traveling and roadside displays want to "take" an endangered
species (which includes harming, harassing, and wounding them to force them to perform
in shows), they will
be subjected to public scrutiny and forced to adhere to ESA requirements.
An example of how all this can help animals
harkens back to one of PETA's earliest exposés—this one involving Las Vegas "entertainer"
Bobby Berosini, whose CBW permit was suspended (and his show closed) after PETA
revealed that he had viciously beaten the orangutans used in his tawdry act.
Bros. circus has a pending CBW permit application that would allow it to take
endangered elephants and leopards, so please click here to voice your objections to the FWS right
Written by PETA
Even if you're not
an avid baseball fan, you've probably heard of Tony La Russa,
one of the greatest managers of all time, who made headlines this week by
announcing his retirement right after steering the St. Louis Cardinals to their
dramatic victory in this year's World Series.
La Russa is also an all-star for animals who is a longtime vegetarian
and PETA supporter, as well as the founder of his own animal protection group, the Animal Rescue Foundation.
La Russa has been
defending animals for decades. When seedy Las Vegas showman Bobby Berosini
was caught on tape beating orangutans with bars and punching them in the face
in 1989, La Russa flew to Vegas with other sympathetic celebrities to condemn
the abuse. After his case wound through the courts for years, Berosini was
ultimately forced to pay PETA $400,000 in court costs and relinquished custody
of the orangutans.
La Russa also led
PETA supporters in a "fur funeral" outside the Seattle Fur Exchange
to bring attention to the fact that animals on fur farms
are kept in cramped, filthy cages and are killed by genital electrocution. In
the "eulogy" that he delivered, La Russa stated, "Fur is
something to be ashamed of." He also starred in a PETA
ad against American Express when the credit card giant was selling fur in its
catalog (the company eventually bowed to pressure and pulled the pelts).
Tony La Russa on a long and successful career and wish him the best in his
by Heather Faraid Drennan
Breaking news here folks, and it's been 17 years in the making: In 1989, a video camera caught nightclub entertainer Bobby Berosini beating and punching the orangutans he used in his act at the Stardust. This week, Berosini lost yet another round in the court battle that has been going on ever since.
Instead of just paying PETA's court costs when we won the case the first time round, Berosini was forced by a federal district court to pay more than $250,000 incurred by PETA’s attorneys in trying to locate assets that he and his wife, Joan Berosini, had hidden after the initial legal battle. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld that payment order, on top of the more than $400,000 in court costs Berosini had previously paid PETA. The real victory here, though, is for the animals depicted in the video below, which (just in case it wasn't clear from the whole hiding money and trying to manipulate the justice system deal) shows exactly what sort of a person this Berosini guy is.
$250,000 dollars is a hell of a lot of money to have paid, but after watching that video again, I'm not exactly welling up with sympathy for Mr. Berosini's misfortunes. As PETA's president, Ingrid Newkirk puts it,
“There’s a lesson here for any entertainers who still feel that beating animals is acceptable. Berosini kept intelligent apes locked up in steel boxes for years, and he can never pay back the animals for the nightly beating they endured.”
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.
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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.