Ringling Bros. Pays Unprecedented Fine

November 2011 

Feld Entertainment, Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, paid a civil penalty of $270,000 for violations of the Animal Welfare Act dating from June 2007 to August 2011—the largest penalty ever paid by an animal exhibitor.

PETA’s complaints to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) contributed to this outcome. In recent meetings, we presented unequivocal evidence of animal abuse, including beatings, the death of a lion, lame elephants forced to perform despite chronic pain, and a baby elephant who died during a training routine. PETA had recently filed a new formal request for action against Ringling, and PETA’s attorneys had met with the USDA’s general counsel and urged her to begin enforcement proceedings.

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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