Letter published in the Hollister Freelance Newspaper:
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
I am outraged by the article I just read about the
Carson and Barnes Circus not really addressing the point that they have been
caught beating their elephants and were fined by the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) for this. Instead
they try to focus on PETA.
There are also many other animal welfare groups that
have come out against this abuse including the ASPCA. All the people in this
warehouse while the beatings were going on are still with the circus and the
man caught doing the beating is the owner's son.
This circus was just "caught" last year on under-cover
video beating their elephants with bull hooks and electrocuting them as they
screamed in pain. The United States Department of Agriculture fined them
$400 for this.
By "paying" this little fine, the circus was able to
avoid having a "violation of the Animal Welfare Act" attached to their name.
So this is why the USDA and the circus always says "we have not been found
in violation of the Animal Welfare Act," which is technically true but ONLY
because they "settled" out of court.
The circus also claims this tape was edited. This tape
was only edited in parts to show the various elephant abuse at various times
so that it would all be able to be viewed in a timely manner. The elephant
trainer even says on under-cover video "you have to hurt the elephant here.
I am not going to do this in front of thousands of people."
Obviously the USDA also found this tape to be authentic
or they would not have fined them $400 for it. Also, there was a statement
that the circus has so many checks and balances, which is completely untrue.
The elephant training sessions are not monitored by any
agency and even when the circus was "caught" beating the elephants, the
circus simply settled out of court so it would not appear on their record as
Elephants should be treated humanely and not hit with
bull hooks and electrocuted to make them perform tricks such as an elephant
standing on their head. It is too bad that caring people go to the circus
and spend their money and have no idea of the abuse inflicted on these
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