As lawyers go, Ringling Bros. has some pretty fancy, expensive ones, but despite their best efforts last week, they couldn’t keep the circus from being dragged into the courtroom once again, this time on charges of (surprise, surprise) elephant abuse. Judge Emmet Sullivan announced Thursday that a last ditch attempt by Ringling’s attorneys to hold up the proceedings was a “waste of a considerable amount of [the court’s] time and resources,” and that the case, which was brought by a consortium of animal protection groups and a former Ringling Employee, will go forward. The circus stands accused of violating the Endangered Species Act by “abusively training and disciplining elephants with sharp implements such as bullhooks, by intensively confining and chaining the multi-ton animals for prolonged periods, and by forcibly separating baby elephants from their mothers.” Given that the ol’ Endangered Species Act doesn’t look too kindly on those training practices, it sounds like Ringling’s going to be in a world of trouble. ‘Cuz that’s pretty much all they do.
“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