PETA to USDA: Seize Neglected Elephants
Following reports of chronic neglect of elephants held by Florida-based exhibitor Jorge Barreda, who uses elephants for rides and rents them out to circuses like UniverSoul, PETA is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to confiscate the elephants and relocate them to a sanctuary so that they can receive the treatment that they urgently need. USDA inspection reports dating back to April indicate that Barreda has repeatedly failed to provide vital care for the elephants’ feet, which can lead to serious, and even fatal, abscesses, infections, osteomyelitis, and other problems.
Foot problems are extremely serious—they are the number one cause of premature death in captive elephants in the U.S., who are forced to stand for long hours on hard surfaces instead of walking for up to 30 miles a day as they would in the wild. Despite the necessity of foot care, circuses and other animal exhibitors often neglect this critical aspect of elephants’ health.