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.