Ringling Forced to Pay Largest Fine in Circus History!

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Posted November 28, 2011 by Rachelle Owen

Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, must now pay the largest settlement of its kind in U.S. history?$270,000?for alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) dating from the present back to 2007.

PETA has been after the USDA all this time, including recent meetings during which we presented unequivocal evidence of animal abuse, including beatings, the death of a lion, lame elephants forced to perform despite pain, and a baby elephant who died during a training routine, to take action against Ringling for abusing the animals in its care. We had recently filed a new formal request for action against Ringling, and our attorneys had met with the USDA’s general counsel and urged her to begin enforcement proceedings.

Among the evidence that PETA presented were testimonial and photographic evidence that baby elephants at Ringling’s training compound are torn away from their mothers and subjected to violent training sessions so that they will learn how to perform tricks and video footage from a PETA investigation showing how elephants used by Ringling are whipped, beaten, and yanked by heavy, sharp steel-tipped bullhooks behind the scenes, prior to performing.

In addition to receiving the largest civil penalty ever assessed against an exhibitor under the AWA, Ringling must now provide all employees who handle animals with training and hire a staff member dedicated to AWA compliance. We will see how that goes.

The government has long failed to act but now has finally taken action. It’s a great start, but no one should forget that elephants and other animals pay the price every time anyone buys a ticket to the circus. Make sure your friends know why they should never by a ticket and show them our videos!

Please thank the USDA for taking action against Ringling for its abuse of animals, and urge officials to go a step further and confiscate the circus’ sick and ailing elephants.

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  • 1147 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    they care more about the money than saving the animals though.

  • 1206 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    this is sooo f*cking sad those men have no life!!

  • 1207 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    I went to one of the protests! Yes! Now I feel we have accomplished something! :]

  • 1217 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    leave it to a bunch of over grown men obviously over compensating for something to hit on poor animals. and then they wonder why the animals attack back after years of abuse. those bastards need their own lawsuit and fines for animal cruelty.

  • 1222 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Can’t wait to do my protest against them this new year coming up.

  • 1226 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    A baby elephant dying? Seriously? And people say that circus cruelty is blown out of proportion… SICK!

  • 1226 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    que bueno! ya era hora….espero les sirva de leccion o minimo que ahora lo piensen dos veces antes de repetir algo a si…

  • 1227 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    The is a giant step forward in ending the cruelty in circuses! Sadly, it has taken so very long for the government to act!

    Today is a new day, and we fervently thank the USDA for taking actions against Ringling! We hope and pray that officials will consider the circus’s sick and ailing elephants and confiscate them asap and place them in sanctuaries where they will be cared for and can live the years they have left in peace!

  • 1227 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    I have to say I hate Ringling Brothers Circus or any circus for that matter. You must have the blackest soul to beat an elephant or any other animal. Tigers are my favorite I spent 8 years teaching Education and Conservation of Endangered Species most of that time was Tiger and Jaguars and other endangered species. The cutes thing I ever heard was 2 very small boys come in the Tiger House when I was working one day and they read the sign, most people don’t even look at the sign then ask stupid questions but we are here to educate. The little boy said to his friend “This is an injured species we have to take care of it” I almost cried I loved that they read the sign and were concerned at such a young age however the word endangered just became injured because these boys were so young. I have never been prouder in my life at least I knew someone was listening…Bless those 2 little boys I will never forget them!!

  • 1227 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    thank god…

  • 1227 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    I am so glad. They need to be permanently shut down. I hope people continue not to support these inhumane people.

  • 1227 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Thank you PETA and USDA for your actions in helping to save the magnificent elephants from further pain and suffering at the hands of the greedy humans who run Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

  • 1227 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    EXCELLENT! Fine not enough though.

  • 1227 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    They have no creative people who can come up with different ways to entertain children and adults except by beating wild animals into submission. Shame on Ringlings and ALL the circuses that exploit animals. Hang your heads!
    Keep the fines coming!!!!!

  • 1227 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    This is great news. Animals should not be kept in circuses. I have never been to an animal circus and I will not take my children to one. If they want to learn about animals I will show them a documentary of animals living in their natural habitats, or take them to a sanctuary where wild animals are safe and looked after properly.

  • 1230 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    NO MAS ELEFANTES EN LOS CIRCOS…ESOS LUGARES SON CÁRCELES DE TORMENTO PARA ESOS HERMOSOS ANIMALITOS….PRIVADOS DE LIBERTAD, TORTURADOS Y GOLPEADOS, ABUSADOS SOLO CON UN FIN…QUE LOS ABUSADORES GANEN DINERO!!! Y LOS ANIMALITOS QUE SON LOS QUE TRABAJAN…QUE OBTIENEN????…SOLO MALTRATO, MALDAD Y CRUELDAD….NO MAS!!! BASTA! AHORA, NO PERMITAMOS QUE MAS ELEFANTITOS SUFRAN …NO AVALEMOS MAS EL COMPORTAMIENTO CRUEL DE LA GENTE

  • 1231 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Beating those beautiful, helpless elephants for no reason at all must be the ONLY thing that makes those poor excuses for human beings feel at all manly! In actuality, it shows what cowards they are!! And the intense level of their stupidity!!! Poor, poor Tonka and all the other animals that are so abused in the name of “entertainment”!
    You notice it’s always “men” (term used very loosely here) that do the abusing. I guess they can’t control anyone or anything else, so the macho egos are puffed up by being brutal to animals that can’t defend themselve. Put them in ring with these animals and NO WEAPONS of any kind and see who wins!
    I’d hate to be a woman in a relationship with one of these jerks!!
    $270,000 is NOT ENOUGH for YEARS of abuse!!! And to Ringling Bros., that’s just a slap on wrist!

  • 1232 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Ringling Bros: The Greatest Fine On Earth

    :P NYA to you Ringling, I hope you’ve learned your lesson.

  • 1233 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    yea!!! go peta omg i wish i culd help awww good job its sick how ppl treat animals they werent ment to be so degrated and abused no one is animal or human were alll have a heart and blood running through our vains

  • 1233 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    wen i saw that on the news we watch every morning in school, i jump up and down and started screamin YES! YES! YES! i got in alot of trouble but it was worth!!!!!! all the hard work we did to get the news of this out paid off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:))))))

  • 1234 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    How can it give pleasure to anybody to watch these beautiful and intelligent animals performing tricks which they were taught by abusing and hurting them?? It is a great shame!!!

    • 1231 days ago

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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      Sadly, Antje, MOST people aren’t aware of the abuse of the animals. They just see the end result. I used to take my son to the circus EVERY YEAR. Then, I was enlightened and will never set foot near one ever again!!

  • 1234 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Perhaps now a boycott campaign for all FELD entertainment outlets should be pursued until animals are removed from Ringling Circuses.

  • 1234 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    bravo to Peta exposing and vindicating in the name of the silenced creatures of this world ! Keep up this wonderful work – much needed in a desensitized society and especially bringing right into the lense what all must face up to : our innate thirst for control ( faked as it might be ) ! Keep the spirit high in constant recognition that we are meant to be husbanders of this planet and its creatures NOT exploiters of other species —

  • 1234 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Who is getting their money? How can we re-pay the abused Elephants? By letting them retire in a Sanctuary. Unless the victims are compensated, it is just a punishment.
    The most important thing to do when they have been found guilty of abuse, Elephant slaughter & neglect is to make sure that it never happens again. If it’s necessary, laws should be created to stop the sue of these Endangered animals in “entertainment.

    • Vic

      1226 days ago

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

      0

      I agree with the comments about where the money is going to. I hope that one day a law is passed that means that money goes to sancturies to help to pay for the rehabilitation and care of these animals or a group like WSPA who educate people around the globe for the care of wild animals. It isn’t enough just to swell government coffers.

  • 1234 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    Hopefully they will close one day forever

  • 1234 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    i never went to the circus and im not planning on it D:

  • 1234 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    i cant even watch one minute of this :(

  • 1235 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    That was a small price to pay for the lives of animals that they have used and abuse. This is just a slap on the wrist. It is not a full victory until we abolish their whole company.

    • 1231 days ago

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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      My feelings exactly, Akira!!!

      • 1147 days ago

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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        yeah i stopped after few seconds

  • 1235 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

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    All I can say is YAHOO!!!! All of our hard work endorsements have finally paid off! The Elephants win this one, but the cost to them is unknown. I want to know who gets this money, and what will it do for the poor beasts that had to suffer for so many years? What benefits will this bring to these poor wretches? Will this money enable them to lead a better life? Does money mean anything to them? A lot of whats isn’t it. No money cannot do anything for those past aggressions against them. What will it bring to the future for them? Yes, it is nice that these people must pay but, it doesn’t help the traumatized animals much now, does it?

  • 1235 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Not enough for all the suffering these beautiful animals endure at the hands of these evil people. I hope the money will go to the welfare of the elephants.When the the public ever learn to stop funding such cruelty,and stay away from circuses.Well done Peta!

  • 1235 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    this is horrible i will never go to a circus as long as i live!!

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Its fantastic that some justice has been achieved. It still amazes me how cruelty like this still happens in the world, there is no reason to it and it should be brought to the attention of the world. Elephants and all animals used in circuses were not born into this world to be treated with anything less than respect and admiration. Hopefully there will be a lot more victories against animal abuse and abusers in the future. Congratulations PETA xox

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Ce qu’il se passe au États Unis, se passe aussi en France et dans bien d’autres pays. C’est un véritable scandale.

    Il n’est plus acceptable ni tolérable que ces animaux subissent ce véritable enfer, parfois jusqu’à ce que mort s’ensuive. Mais comment lutter face à des gouvernements qui n’ont que faire des animaux prisonniers et maltraités.

    Il y a une solution, c’est que l’opinion publique sache ce qu’il se passe dans les coulisses de l’entraînement avant que ces “animaux esclaves” s’exhibent par la contrainte dans le chapiteau d’un cirque devant le public malheureusement mal informé.

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Afin bonne nouvelle pour animaux, pour elephants! Ces cruelles gagnent de plus comme amade! Il gagnent le prison a tout de vie!

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I am moved to tears, this is a great victory & a step in the right direction, thank-you so much PETA for your tireless efforts to protect the voiceless & innocent.

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Hooray!!! This is wonderful news!!! :)

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    It’s not enough in fines, but a start. Please DO NOT go to the animal circus!

  • PM

    1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Fuck the money, those guys need to be arrested. The way those animals are treated is sick and wrong and casually whipping an elephant just because makes them completely sick and wrong. They’ll be beating people in the street next, it’s just as bad, if not worse. This makes me so angry and sad.

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    BRAVO PETA!! It’s about damned time somebody acted to protect the animals used in circuses. This should also apply to all animals used for entertainment purposes. For my part, I wouldn’t purchase a ticket to any event in which animals are forced to perform and advise everyone I know to do the same. Mostly, I’m relieved that the AWA finally decided to enforce the laws that have fallen by the wayside for far too long. Elephants and other wild creatures belong in their own environment. There is nothing amusing about animal abuse. People need to find other forms of entertainment. Moreimportantly, people need to find their consciences.

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I for one would rather see these animals in as natural surrounding as possible, whoever initially thought that making an elephant do dumb tricks for our simple minds would be entertainment? We can have them in captivity, although leaving them alone would be nice in an ideal world, but lets follow examples of Steve Irwin who showcased their natural talents and educated us why we all have to care.
    Both my children love to go to the circus and zoo but we never go to circuses that have any wild animals or zoos that think sticking an animal in a cemented cage cell is humane.

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Thank you, PETA! Such a good news!

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Please sign these petitions to BAN all animals from circuses forever!

    https://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/circusanimals

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ban-animal-entertainment-in-circuses-in-the-usa/sign.html

    • 1201 days ago

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

      0

      Did it! Thanks for putting these on here!

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    About time! Hopefully this is the beginning of their downfall *evil grin*

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    i hope they start treating animals with respect now

    • 1236 days ago

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

      0

      the only way to treat them with respect is to ban animal circuses like a lot of the civilised world is now doing … even China have banned animal circuses

    • 1235 days ago

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

      0

      they should NOT have animals anyway.

  • 1236 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    It may just be the tip of the iceberg, but sure is a nice start! $270k is a lot for ANY company to shell out for a law suit…especially one dedicated to a “luxury” activity.

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