Alec Baldwin to USDA: Seize the Elephants

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

“As a lifelong Democrat, I never thought I’d lead an effort to defend the symbol of the Republican Party,” writes Alec Baldwin in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Baldwin is sending Vilsack the video he hosted for PETA exposing Ringling Bros.’ abuse of animals and asking the USDA to take action.

Despite the fact that many states and cities have animal protection laws in place that prohibit abuse such as beating animals with steel-tipped bullhooks, forcing crippled animals to work, or keeping animals in chains, state and local laws often go unenforced, and circuses like Ringling continue their cruel business as usual. But the USDA has the power to change that.

Local laws designed to protect these animals are not being enforced because the circus skirts authorities or uses its financial clout to get them to look the other way,” wrote Alec. “That’s why I am writing to you and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to step up and enforce the Animal Welfare Act.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, the USDA has the power to seize all of Ringling’s arthritic elephants who are forced to perform, meaning that these animals, who are beaten day after day to make them to perform painful stunts, could then be retired to sanctuaries. It would be another positive step for the USDA to take toward protecting animals from cruelty, after last year’s landmark $270,000 fine levied against Ringling for animal welfare violations.

Join Alec in asking the USDA to step up in behalf of elephants once again.

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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