USDA Investigates Ringling Cruelty

Published by PETA.

Update: PETA has just received word that following its submission of evidence of this cruel beating to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency’s Investigative and Enforcement Services has opened a formal investigation into the matter.

Originally posted June 15:

A security guard has reported that an animal attendant with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus repeatedly beat a chained elephant with a bullhook at the World Arena in Colorado Springs shortly after midnight on June 10. A sworn cruelty complaint has now been filed with the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.

‘Elephants Never Forget’ Cruelty

The whistleblower, while working as a guard at the arena, saw a Ringling employee strike an elephant on her leg “with full force” at least six times in a manner that the whistleblower describes as “violent,” “excessive,” “angry,” and “without warning.” The attendant continued striking the elephant, who was chained by two legs, even after she had moved out of his way.

The guard also noted that the large cats traveling with Ringling were always confined to their cages unless they were performing, that he did not see any of the animals provided with regular access to water, and that he was told that the circus does not travel with a veterinarian.

‘Animal Care’ Requires Actual Care

Last year, Ringling paid a $270,000 fine to settle charges brought by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but the complaints keep coming in.

The man who came forward is a trained veterinary assistant who had been in the process of filling out a job application to work in an animal-care capacity for Ringling. After witnessing Ringling’s mistreatment of the animals, he immediately closed his Ringling employment application and contacted PETA.

What You Can Do

Please take a moment to e-mail the Humane Society of the Pike’s Peak region and urge them to take swift enforcement action against this blatant cruelty.

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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