In a bid to stop Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s reign of terror over animals once and for all by getting the circus’s exhibitor’s license revoked, PETA has submitted more than 700 pages of evidence to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documenting not only Ringling’s long history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act but also the circus’s attempts to cover up the circumstances surrounding animals’ deaths.
Just one of many examples is Riccardo, a baby elephant whose fatal fall off a pedestal during a training session (he was euthanized after breaking both hind legs) Ringling originally tried to characterize as “routine play.” Another example is Clyde, a lion who died of heat stroke after being confined to a sweltering boxcar in Ringling’s animal train while it crossed the Mojave Desert in 109-degree heat. A former trainer told PETA that Ringling tampered with the evidence by installing a non-working water misting system in the boxcar after Clyde died and warned him to not talk about the the circumstances of Clyde’s death.
And then there are the hours of video that PETA amassed last year—which show Ringling handlers as they beat elephants in city after city across the country—as well as the damning photos taken by a former elephant trainer that show baby elephants as they are “broken” with ropes, bullhooks, and electric prods.
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We think that all this adds up to several hundred pretty good reasons for the USDA to yank Ringling’s license. If you agree, please take a minute to drop the agency a line.
Written by Alisa Mullins