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Cruel Training Methods Exposed as Group Calls On Federal Government to Revoke Circus's Permit
For Immediate Release:April 19, 2010
Contact:Megan Grigorian 757-622-7382
Bossier City, La. -- If a picture is worth a thousand words, then PETA's new billboard--which depicts bullhook-toting handlers threatening a baby elephant who is tied down by all four legs--speaks volumes about how elephants who are prematurely removed from their mothers for profit's sake suffer at the hands of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The billboard, which went up in advance of Ringling's scheduled visit to Bossier City this May, reads, "Tied Down, Beaten, and Electro-Shocked. Boycott Ringling Cruelty." It is located on the west side of Interstate 220, near exit 17A, facing south.
The billboard went up just as PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling on the agency to revoke Ringling's animal exhibitor's license in light of the circus's continuing cruelty to animals (as revealed in this New York Daily News article).
The case is fueled by dozens of never-before-seen photos that show Ringling's routine abuse of baby elephants. The photos were handed over by a retired Ringling elephant trainer who had regrets about his career. Ringling's fear-based training methods have contributed to the deaths of at least two baby elephants: One fled his bullhook-wielding trainer and drowned in a pond, and the other broke both hind legs after falling from a training pedestal. Several other elephants used by Ringling have also prematurely died.
"Anyone who looks at the heartbreaking photos will see with their own eyes how bad Ringling's abuse of elephants is," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "We hope parents will realize that if their kids love animals, the last place that they should take their children is the circus."
PETA wants residents to know that Ringling's violent methods for training baby elephants include shocking them with electric prods and using metal-pronged bullhooks to terrorize them into submission. This training takes place in secret at the circus's private training compound in Florida.
For more information and to view the photos, please visit PETA's Web site RinglingBeatsAnimals.com.
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.