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PETA Sues Feds Over Ringling Permits

Written by PETA | May 22, 2012

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!

How Do You Spell ‘Rubber Stamp’? F-W-S

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.

Big Suffering Behind the Big Top

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 

Commenting is closed.
  • Janet Locke says:

    Ringling has no business having animals of any sort. Even if they wanted to do right by them (and they don’t – they only give it lip service), living in parking lots is no place for endangered species. And they certainly should not be shipped out of the country like pieces of furniture.

  • Laura Cotter says:

    Looks like people are tired of making comments when their government keeps looking the other way in regard to humane treatment of animals, ignoring their own laws……weak as they are. This is just more of the same coming from a once great country who now has sunk to another new low. I hope all these people are proud!!…..the Ringlings and the politicians of this world!!!!!!!!!!!!!