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How the system works

From: Julie
Sent on: Saturday, October 20, 2012 8:44 AM

We had some amazing people show up at our circus demonstrations this year! 

 

Why are these demonstrations so important? For those who don’t know, I wanted to share how the system works when the circus commits flagrant violations.  When Carson & Barnes Circus was here, I called the USDA Western Region HQ to advise them of my concerns regarding the elephants being mishandled.  I was told it was the weekend (duh), no inspectors were available, and if I’d send them a calendar of the circus’ schedule, maybe they might catch up with them on a future stop.  Plus, I had to fill out a written complaint, which I did.  Weeks later, I received an email that, if I’d like to find out the resolution to my complaint, I’d have to file a Freedom of Information Act form and it would take months to get that information.  It seems the system is designed to prevent citizens from taking action in the first place.

 

Two years ago, Carson and Barnes WAS inspected during an appearance and the document below shows the outcome.  It took TWO years for the circus to be cited for all the violations you see below.  And their fine?  $3,714!  This is like a flea bite on an elephant and just the cost of doing business for Carson and Barnes.

 

THIS is why it’s so important we show up at these demonstrations, that we continually educate everyone we come into contact with that they should never attend a circus.  We can’t depend on inspectors or the government.  They are virtually meaningless.

                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Investigative and Enforcement Services Reference Number: OK10026-AC Issuance Date: July 26, 2012 Version: Final

 VIA: USPS Certified Mail July 26, 2012

Shipping Event: 1st

Carson & Barnes Circus Co., Inc. Registered Agent: Thelma Millican

P. O. Box J 203 East Jackson Street

Hugo, OK 74743 Hugo, OK 74743

 

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

CITATION AND NOTIFICATION OF PENALTY

 

We believe that you violated the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.) (AWA), as described below.

 

Date of Violation: August 27, 2010

9 C.F.R. § 2.131(c)(1) Handling of animals.

Respondent failed to maintain control of an elephant when allowing three elephants to drink while in traveling exhibit status. The elephant ran and fell down a steep slope and onto her side. After the incident, the elephant was observed to have a cracked toenail and an inflamed shoulder.

 

Date of Violation: May 12, 2010

9 C.F.R. § 3.127(b) Facilities, outdoor. Shelter from inclement weather.

Respondent failed to provide appropriate shelter from inclement weather for three elephants. Shelter must be provided to elephants to prevent discomfort during inclement weather.

 

Date of Violation: May 12, 2010

9 C.F.R. § 3.127(d) Facilities, outdoor. Perimeter fence.

Respondent failed to maintain a controlled perimeter fence or appropriate alternative security measures for three elephants. The electric fence used to contain the three elephants was not powered, rendering the containment inadequate.

 

Date of Violation: Jun 19, 2010

9 C.F.R. § 3.138(a) Primary conveyances (motor, vehicle, rail, air, and marine).

Respondent failed to maintain the trailer used to haul various circus animals in good repair. The trailer had an 8 inch hole in the floor at the entrance of the trailer that could injure all animals that would use this entrance to access the trailer.United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Investigative and Enforcement Services Reference Number: OK10026-AC Issuance Date: July 26, 2012 Version: Final

 

Date of Violation: June 29, 2011

9 C.F.R. § 2.131(c)(1) Handling of animals.

Respondent failed to provide adequate distance and/or barriers between the public and two elephants. In the parking lot of the exhibition, while two elephants were being bathed, several people stopped to observe the bathing within close proximity of the animals, with no physical barrier or sufficient distance to minimize the risk of harm to

the public and the animals. APHIS officials also observed that a member of the public was able to grab an elephant’s trunk over a barrier while the elephant handler had his back to the public area.

 

Date of Violation: June 29, 2011

9 C.F.R. § 2.131(d)(3) Handling of animals.

Respondent failed to have its elephants under the direct control and supervision of knowledgeable and experienced animal handlers during public exhibition. During the elephant rides, the handlers frequently left the animals unattended, such as by walking away from the elephants to adjust the barrier fence or standing several feet away from the elephants. In another instance, a handler walked away from an elephant, while 1 adult and 6 children were saddled on it, to talk on his cell phone while the elephant continued the ride unattended.

 

Date of Violation: October 7, 2011

9 C.F.R. § 2.131(d)(3) Handling of animals.

Respondent failed to have its elephants under the direct control and supervision of knowledgeable and experienced animal handlers during public exhibition. During this focused inspection concerning the handling of elephants, APHIS officials observed

two elephants used for rides with passengers on board, that were not controlled and/or supervised at all times. Two elephants that were being used for rides with passengers on board only had one handler present. The unattended elephant would stop in from of an “exit curtain” that did not have a physical barrier to stop the animals. The elephant could have left the area through this curtain with the public on board.

 

Date of Violation: December 20, 2011

9 C.F.R. § 3.125(a) Facilities, General.

Respondent failed to maintain the interior walls of the elephant barns in good repair. The walls had missing or damaged sections of insulation that inhibited the cleaning of the walls.

 

Date of Violation: April 27, 2012

9 C.F.R. § 3.125(a) Facilities, General.

Respondent failed to maintain the metal mesh near the entry for one adult elephant in good repair. The metal mesh had sharp edges protruding that could cause injury to the elephant.United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Investigative and Enforcement Services Reference Number: OK10026-AC Issuance Date: July 26, 2012 Version: Final

 

Date of Violation: April 27, 2012

9 C.F.R. § 3.127(d) Facilities, Outdoors.

Respondent failed to maintain the perimeter fence to restrict animals and unauthorized

persons from going through it or under it. APHIS observed that sections of the perimeter fence had gaps between the fencing and the ground, perimeter gates were not properly closing to restrict entry, and gates did not close completely to restrict entry.

 

The penalty for the alleged violations described above is $3,714.

 

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/foia/enforcement_actions/2012/September/Animal%20Welfare%20Act%20%28AWA%29/Stipulations/OK10026_AC_sa_Carson%20and%20Barnes_072612_Redacted%20Final.pdf

 

 

 

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