City Cancels Ringling’s Scheduled Shows

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

Update: Rather than follow in Rio Rancho’s compassionate footsteps, the New Mexico State Fair has decided to allow Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to perform on the state fairgrounds from June 1 to 3 despite Ringling’s long history of animal abuse and the vocal opposition of many citizens. You can express your disagreement with the state fair’s decision by calling the general manager of the state fair, Dan Mourning, at 505-222-9739 and politely telling him that Ringling should not be allowed to perform on the state fairgrounds. You can also follow up your call with an e-mail to Mourning.

Ringling just got its bell rung, courtesy of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The circus was scheduled to perform in the city in June, but because of Ringling’s sordid history of violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and its recent $270,000 fine from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the city refused to issue Ringling a permit to perform.

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Just last year, Rio Rancho added a provision to its animal ordinance barring any animal shows that had been fined by the USDA in the past five years or cited for violating the AWA in the last three years. Since Ringling just paid the largest fine in circus history last year and racked up 10 violations of the AWA in the past three years, it certainly didn’t pass muster. PETA has sent a thank-you letter to the city.

Ringling’s Next Move—and How to Stop It

Now Ringling is trying to haul “The Cruelest Show on Earth” to the state fairgrounds in Albuquerque. PETA is appealing to the Tingley Coliseum at the fairgrounds, detailing Ringling’s long history of animal abuse and urging the venue to block the circus just as Rio Rancho has.

What You Can Do

Call state fair officials at 505-222-9700 and politely urge them not to allow Ringling to perform. You can follow up your call with an e-mail to the general manager of the state fair, Dan Mourning.

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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