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City Cancels Ringling’s Scheduled Shows

Written by Michelle Kretzer | May 31, 2012

Update: Rather than follow in Rio Rancho’s compassionate footsteps, the New Mexico State Fair has decided to allow Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to perform on the state fairgrounds from June 1 to 3 despite Ringling’s long history of animal abuse and the vocal opposition of many citizens. You can express your disagreement with the state fair’s decision by calling the general manager of the state fair, Dan Mourning, at 505-222-9739 and politely telling him that Ringling should not be allowed to perform on the state fairgrounds. You can also follow up your call with an e-mail to Mourning.

Ringling just got its bell rung, courtesy of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The circus was scheduled to perform in the city in June, but because of Ringling’s sordid history of violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and its recent $270,000 fine from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the city refused to issue Ringling a permit to perform.


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Just last year, Rio Rancho added a provision to its animal ordinance barring any animal shows that had been fined by the USDA in the past five years or cited for violating the AWA in the last three years. Since Ringling just paid the largest fine in circus history last year and racked up 10 violations of the AWA in the past three years, it certainly didn’t pass muster. PETA has sent a thank-you letter to the city.

Ringling’s Next Move—and How to Stop It

Now Ringling is trying to haul “The Cruelest Show on Earth” to the state fairgrounds in Albuquerque. PETA is appealing to the Tingley Coliseum at the fairgrounds, detailing Ringling’s long history of animal abuse and urging the venue to block the circus just as Rio Rancho has.

What You Can Do

Call state fair officials at 505-222-9700 and politely urge them not to allow Ringling to perform. You can follow up your call with an e-mail to the general manager of the state fair, Dan Mourning.

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  • carla says:

    RICHARD ANIMALS DON’T HAVE A VOICE AND THEY DO NOT BELONG PERFORMING FOR PATHETIC HUMANS.

  • Chris says:

    Thank you Rio Rancho for setting a great example!! We are very pleased with your decision! Now it’s time for Albuquerque to step up to the plate as well as any other city considering hosting this horrible circus!

  • Mimi says:

    LMAO @ RichardR’s comment… Your comment makes as much sense as putting an outdoor patio on an underwater submarine; they don’t go together…Worry about US, that is the problem. Society has spent so much time worrying about US, they forgot about the animals…Humans (US) make a choice to be cruel to animals. When an animal fights back -9 out of 10 times they are put down and most of these animals are from the wild….No one can take anything away from you unless you let them. Animals don’t have that choice do they……

  • nik says:

    Here’s the email I sent…feel free to copy: Dear Mr. Mourning, I’m writing to ask that you please not allow Ringling Circus to perform at the Tingley Coliseum or at any of your other facilities. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Ringling just paid the largest fine in circus history last year and racked up 10 violations of the Animal Welfare Act in the past three years. PETA has documented multitudes of violations by Ringling including “beatings, the death of a lion, lame elephants forced to perform despite chronic pain, and a baby elephant who died during a training routine.” http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2011/11/28/ringling-slapped-with-largest-penalty-in-circus-history.aspx Clearly Ringling has a consistent history of animal mistreatment. Albuquerque is known nationwide as a progressive city with a spiritual heart. Please help to preserve this image and tradition by refusing to allow Ringling to perform at your facilities. Your city has the attention of PETA and compassionate people nationwide on this issue, so it would be a bold and noble step for you to take and a true act of kindness. Many thanks for your consideration.

  • RichardR says:

    LMAO…guys…I understand about boycotting Ringling for animal cruelty, and I totally agree. But let’s keep things in perspective here: We are ALL captive animals, forced by humanity and circumstance to do things every day that we would never do in the wild. If we don’t do those things, we starve; if we misbehave, we get put down. If you’re really worried about cruelty to trained monkeys, why don’t you worry about US?

  • Scott frantz says:

    Thia has just made my day, what a big step this is and hopefully more to come I agree with u all, there is so many other unique talents that humans can do to entertain without these poor innocent animals that are forced to do unthinkable things that they would never do on the wild, just look at like the cirque des ole or however that’s spelled, , they get tons of people to go to and they don’t use animals,,

  • jsamilio says:

    I get that at one time a circus was the only place people could be exposed to wild animals. Time and technology marches on and people have access to more material and can go to a zoo or travel to see nature as it was intended. The circus needs to bring itself up to date and show us what we cannot imagine is next — without involving captive animals!

  • Julie McCready says:

    GREAT NEWS! It is about time this happened and I am so happy to hear that it finally has, now all that needs to happen is them to be shut down for good and those poor abused animals be rescued!!!

  • ANGEL PEREZ says:

    ANIMALS DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS THE WAY THEY ARE TREATED IS UNFAIR AND CRUEL THIS HAS TO STOP SOMEWHERE RIO RANCHO NM SAYS NO NOW ALB NM SHOULD DO THE SAME THEIR ARE OTHER WAYS TO ENTERTAIN PEOPLE USING ANIMALS IS NOT THE ANSWER

  • LAURA BORRACHERO says:

    ANIMALS MUST BE FREE!!NO USED IT TO SHOWS!

  • Leticia says:

    Great news! Its time for this cruel circus to go out of the business of torturing animals.

  • Caren says:

    It’s about time Ringling Brothers come into the new century and reinvent their show content to exclude wild animals. There is plenty of fantastic human talent and acrobata with costumes that could put on a great show without disrespecting animals by not including them in the line up. If Ringling would take a clue and do this they may find the circus will have a much larger audience.

  • stephanie contrada says:

    I am writing to urge you not to allow Ringling Brothers circus to perform at your state fair. They are known animal abusers who should not be profiting from the suffering and abuse that these animals are forced to endure! Please set a good and noble example for others to see. and just say “NO”!!! Thank you! Stephanie Contrada

  • stephanie contrada says:

    I am writing to urge you not to allow Ringling Brother’s circus to bring their “show” to your fair ground. They have a history of animal abuse and the public should be made aware of this when you deny them the use of your property. Your sensitivity and integrity in this matter is very much appreciated. By setting a good and noble example hopefully they will get the message that animal suffering will no longer be tolerated!!! Thank you so much!

  • annie says:

    Hooray. Made my day. All animals deserve kindness they are not here for our entertainment and human greed.

  • CC Rivas says:

    Animals are not for circus; let elephants and all others alone!

  • Audrey Yingling says:

    No animal should be used to entertain human beings, let humans entertain humans!

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