The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act prohibits false and deceptive advertising, so why does the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus get away with promoting beaten elephants and whipped tigers as the “greatest show on Earth”? In a letter sent to the commission, PETA asks that very question.
Contrary to what Ringling’s self-serving PR department says, U.S. Department of Agriculture reports, photographs and video footage prove without a doubt that circus employees strike, stab, jab, hook, prod, beat, and bloody elephants with bullhooks and whip them, chain them, and electro-shock them in order to break the elephants and force them to perform unnatural and painful tricks.
Right now, for example, three elephants—Sara, Nicole, and Karen—are being forced to perform grueling tricks in Ringling shows despite suffering from painful health ailments, including, in the case of Nicole and Karen, arthritis. Another elephant named Sarah is suffering from what appears to be a serious infection, but Ringling has ignored a veterinarian’s orders and Sarah is still being forced to perform night after night.
PETA’s FTC complaint is intended to force Ringling to tell the truth. The public can weigh in by refusing to buy a ticket.
Written by Jennifer O’Connor