FWS Forced to Follow the Law

January 2012 

It took a PETA lawsuit to compel the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to change course, but after three decades of secretly and illegally issuing hundreds of Endangered Species Act (ESA) permits to circuses, roadside zoos, and other animal exploiters, the FWS will change its ways. The permits—called “captive-bred wildlife (CBW) permits”—previously allowed animal exhibitors like the notorious Ringling Bros. circus and Have Trunk Will Travel to “harm and harass” captive-bred endangered animals like Asian elephants without any public scrutiny or comments on their plans. Now, anytime circuses and operators of traveling and roadside displays want to “take” an endangered species (which includes harming, harassing, and wounding them to force them to perform in shows), they will be subjected to public scrutiny and forced to adhere to ESA requirements.

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“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind