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PETA Calls on USDA to Shut Down Ringling

Written by PETA | April 12, 2010

In a bid to stop Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s reign of terror over animals once and for all by getting the circus’s exhibitor’s license revoked, PETA has submitted more than 700 pages of evidence to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documenting not only Ringling’s long history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act but also the circus’s attempts to cover up the circumstances surrounding animals’ deaths.

Just one of many examples is Riccardo, a baby elephant whose fatal fall off a pedestal during a training session (he was euthanized after breaking both hind legs) Ringling originally tried to characterize as “routine play.” Another example is Clyde, a lion who died of heat stroke after being confined to a sweltering boxcar in Ringling’s animal train while it crossed the Mojave Desert in 109-degree heat. A former trainer told PETA that Ringling tampered with the evidence by installing a non-working water misting system in the boxcar after Clyde died and warned him to not talk about the the circumstances of Clyde’s death.

And then there are the hours of video that PETA amassed last year—which show Ringling handlers as they beat elephants in city after city across the country—as well as the damning photos taken by a former elephant trainer that show baby elephants as they are “broken” with ropes, bullhooks, and electric prods.


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We think that all this adds up to several hundred pretty good reasons for the USDA to yank Ringling’s license. If you agree, please take a minute to drop the agency a line.

Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • cheyenne says:

    woooow i hate these people i hate them all with a dieing pastion you have no idea how much i hate them honestly i hope them the worst ever and i hope one day those elephants crush everyone of them and they suffer. i hate them and hope they go to hell.

  • Pamela Miller says:

    I am writing to you to express my complete disgust with Ringling Bros. Barnum Bailey and any other circus that continues to have animal performances. Since RBBB are coming to D.C. in a few days and will undoubtedly be heavily advertised in most of the local newspapers I would like to get equal time by revealing what these circuss dont want people to know. When I was a child in the 1950s I attended this circus because I did not know any better. So much has happened since then to bring more awareness to people about these atrocities and other acts of animal cruelty. However there must still be people that are not aware or just do not care. For the former I want them to know and for the latter that is just plain sad. When my daughter was in the first grade the school she attended had an annual fieldtrip to the RBBB circus. After I explained to her what was really going on behind closed doors she promptly marched into her classroom and informed her classmates and teacher that she would not be attending the field trip and why. In fact she and I made such a stink about it that was the last year the school allowed funding for this fieldtrip and it was discontinued. Here are just a few examples of why this is NOT the greatest show on earth At Ringling’s facility stillnursing baby elephants are captured rodeostyle roped around all four legs tethered necktoneck to an anchor elephant and dragged from their mothers. RBBB employees have been documented beating elephants with sharp metaltipped bull hooks in the most sensitive parts of their bodies backstage moments before performances. An elephant’s skin is so sensitive that they can feel the pain of an insect bite. Animals in circuses live in constant confinement and are forced to perform under the threat of punishment. RBBB has failed numerous times to meet the minimal standards of animal care set in the Animal Welfare Act. People who care about animals should boycott animal circuses.

  • Meg Worth says:

    There is simply no excuse for this…none.

  • Julie Wheeler says:

    I have never liked the circus and I will never take my kids to one. Animals do not deserve to be treated this way they should be living the way nature intended…free. To see these poor helpless creatures treated like this breaks my heart. These people have got to be stopped. Please do it for the animals.

  • kitty says:

    Hello I hate circus shows and refuse to take my children to any. When My daughter was 3 we had never been to a circus so we decided to take her. After being there for 12 hour we walked out discusted and upset at the way these poor animals are exploited and how miserable and sad they look while performing theses acts. All circus shows should be banned. I don’t feel animals should entertain us humans instead they should be living the lives they were intended to live by nature. Kitty

  • Joyce Chadwick says:

    Whatever we can do no matter how little to help these animals is a step closer to getting them freed. Write USDA and demand justice pass out literature about their horrific training and life get the schools to stop class trips. I cry for these defenseless animals and can’t get them out of my mind. It’s horrifying what goes on.I agree with Carla the government must do something. We must make our voices heard and demand justice. Hopefully we can get the media to take a sincere interest in this cause. We’ve got to.

  • Wanda P. says:

    I wonder if someone in USDA isn’t making money of the circus…..

  • Carla says:

    I have banned these sick Bast….ds a long time ago. The Government should step in and do something good for a change! Human beings have enough entertainment without having to abuse and torture animals. It’s discusting and cruel and needs to be stopped. I will be protesting in Hartford CT with many many people!!!!!!!!!!

  • patricia Perkins says:

    The government needs to step in and help these elephants that are being tortured. This has been going on too long and of course it’s all about money at the expense of these poor creatures. Ringling Brothers should be shut down for such abuse.

  • Lauren Holt says:

    If this doesn’t get the message through nothing will! Good job PeTA! xx

  • Tanya says:

    This is an ongoing problem for years it sickens me for these poor animals to be treated this way