Feds Allow Ringling to Export Tigers: Shady Deal Contravenes Endangered Species Act, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Washington – Please see the following statement regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision today to issue an Endangered Species Act permit to Feld Entertainment, Inc.—Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ parent company—to send eight tigers, six lions, and one leopard overseas for use in German circuses, in exchange for a promised payment to a conservation group in India. This action violates the letter and the spirit of a law enacted specifically to prevent commercial exploitation of big cats and other animals:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has spat on the federal Endangered Species Act by allowing a Ringling Bros. circus big-cat trainer to squeeze some final dollars out of these already exploited animals. Ringling shut down because today’s audiences can’t stomach seeing wild animals being caged and whipped into performing stupid tricks, and now these big cats are to continue suffering in circuses, instead of living in sanctuaries. PETA fought Ringling for decades and won, and will fight this shady deal just as vigorously.

—PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Rachel Mathews

For decades, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—led protests calling on people to stay away from the now-defunct Ringling Bros. circus. More information about PETA’s opposition to the permit, filed with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, is available here.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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