This morning, PETA Vice President Dan Mathews appeared on the Today show to talk about the court case involving Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Alert PETA Files readers will recall that Ringling has been sued by a coalition of animal protection groups over what they allege are violations of the Endangered Species Act. Namely, they’re arguing that beating elephants with bullhooks and keeping them chained for hours or even days on end are no way to treat an endangered species.
Here’s a little refresher: Over the course of the six-week trial, reams of evidence were trotted out to support reports that Ringling keeps elephants chained for an average of more than 26 hours at a time, sometimes for as many as 60 to 100 hours straight, and that elephants often suffer from bleeding wounds after being struck with bullhooks. Former Ringling employees testified about the horrors they witnessed while on Ringling’s payroll, which included seeing an elephant who was violently beaten for a solid half hour.
The judge is still weighing his verdict, but in the meantime, Ringling is on trial in the court of public opinion. Kudos to Today for helping us expose Ringling for the sleazy animal-abusing con artist that it is.
Written by Alisa Mullins