Arena Employee Alleges Ringling Bullhook Abuse

Published by PETA.

Less than a year after a security guard reported the abuse of a chained elephant by a bullhook-wielding Ringling Bros. circus handler in Colorado, an employee at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum—a venue where PETA captured Ringling bullhook use on video as part of a 2009 undercover investigation—has reported more bullhook abuse during Ringling’s March 2013 tour there.


PETA’s 2009 investigation of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus found that workers were beating, whipping, and hooking elephants and striking tigers. 

Based on the whistleblower’s affidavit, PETA has submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), along with an urgent request for the agency to inspect Ringling while it remains in New York (through April 3). The arena staffer—who also noted that she saw no exercise pens set up for the tigers—complained to the Nassau County District Attorney Office’s animal-cruelty unit, which is investigating.

What You Can Do

Hasn’t being slapped with the USDA’s largest-ever penalty against a circus for violations of the Animal Welfare Act deterred Ringling from abusing elephants? Please politely urge USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to finally seize Ringling’s suffering elephants and transfer them to a reputable sanctuary.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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