Come join us in protest of the abuse endured by the animals that are forced to "entertain" by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus! Protest Organizer for Sunday:
Protest is from 4pm-5pm. Leaflets and signs will be provided! Map, directions, parking suggestions here! There is a current lawsuit against Ringling brought by several animal advocacy groups and an ex-Ringling Brothers employee involving charges that the Circus cruelly mistreats endangered Asian elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Central to the lawsuit is the allegation that the use of bullhooks and the constant chaining of elephants wounds and harms the elephants. The trial, six weeks long, concluded on March 18, 2009. The Judge has not yet rendered a decision in this precedent-setting case, but it is forthcoming!
- Susan Mazey E-mail: [masked]
Highlights: - All adult elephants are suffering from foot-related problems: lameness, nail cracks, and toe abscesses, many have arthritis, all as a result of being kept on chains and standing on hard surfaces for most of their lives. - 14 of Ringling’s 16 baby elephants suffer from similar foot and joint problems, as a result of being restrained by chains on hard surfaces. - Ringling’s own transportation records proved that elephants spend extensive amounts of time being chained, in some cases up to 100 consecutive hours in cramped circus railroad cars. - Countless hours of video footage showing the elephants being routinely hooked and chained. - Transcripts of depositions of former Ringling employees declared that while employed for Ringling they saw handlers routinely abuse elephants with bullhooks.
Internal written documents from Ringling discuss the mistreatment of its elephants in regards to the bullhook: - Ringling’s animal behaviorist reported “an elephant dripping blood all over the arena floor during the show from being hooked.” - Ringling’s veterinary assistant reported that “[a]fter this morning’s baths, at least 4 of the elephants came in with multiple abrasions and lacerations from the hooks.” “The lacerations were very visible ... [a handler] applied wonder dust just before the show.” Wonder dust is used to stop the bleeding of a wound; because it is charcoal in color it covers up the spot from public view.
Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, the parent company that owns Ringling Bros., admitted under oath on cross-examination that all of his handlers strike the elephants with bullhooks. This comes after years of denying this very fact! The manager of the Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC), the breeding facility in Florida that Ringling boasts is “the ideal environment” in which Asian elephants “flourish and thrive,” testified that the elephants at the CEC spend on average 16 hours chained, while some spend more than 22 hours chained on concrete. The evidence presented at trial — through documents and witness testimony — creates an irrefutable argument that elephants are mistreated by the Ringling Bros. circus. To learn more, visit www.bornfreeusa.org/courtdocs.