Lawsuit Forces FWS to Follow the Law

Published by Jennifer O'Connor.

dogrango | cc by 2.0

It took a PETA lawsuit to compel the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to change course, but after three decades of secretly and illegally issuing hundreds of Endangered Species Act (ESA) permits to circuses, roadside zoos, and other animal exploiters, the FWS will change its ways.

The permits—called “captive-bred wildlife (CBW) permits”—previously allowed animal exhibitors like the notorious Ringling Bros. circus and Have Trunk Will Travel to harm and harass captive-bred endangered animals like Asian elephants without any public scrutiny or comments on their plans. Now, anytime circuses and operators of traveling and roadside displays want to “take” an endangered species (which includes harming, harassing, and wounding them to force them to perform in shows), they will be subjected to public scrutiny and forced to adhere to ESA requirements.

An example of how all this can help animals harkens back to one of PETA’s earliest exposés—this one involving Las Vegas “entertainer” Bobby Berosini, whose CBW permit was suspended (and his show closed) after PETA revealed that he had viciously beaten the orangutans used in his tawdry act.

Ringling Bros. circus has a pending CBW permit application that would allow it to take endangered elephants and leopards, so please click here to voice your objections to the FWS right now.

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“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