Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
From 29 September 2008 Issue
Three Suffering Elephants Need Your Help - Time is Running Out for Tina, Jewel, and Queenie
Tina, Jewel and Queenie have spent their summer being trucked around the country with Circus Vazquez. In Defense of Animals has been monitoring these elephants as they have passed from Texas, to Arizona, California, Oregon, Florida, Atlanta and North Carolina, on their way to Chicago and the Northeast.
Day after day, town after town, the lives of these elephants are the same - crammed Into the back of a trailer, confined to a tiny pen where they sway neurotically - all for five minutes of performance doing demeaning tricks for dwindling circus crowds.
Tina, Jewel and Queenie have endured a lifetime of ill-treatment at the hands of the circus industry, most recently by their current "owners", the notorious Davenport family. (http://www.helpelephantsinzoos.org/feature_070905.html)
We know that you will be as shocked as we were to learn that these elephants are still on the road despite the egregious violations of federal law committed the Davenport circus family.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has failed to protect Tina, Jewel and Queenie . . .
* USDA inspectors have documented numerous and egregious violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including multiple wounds consistent with ankus abuse, eye-witness reports of beatings, and the "inappropriate and abusive use of the ankus and such use is likely to cause trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm or unnecessary discomfort..." Yet the USDA has failed to enforce its own confiscation regulations to ensure that no further harm will come to Tina, Jewel and Queenie.
* The USDA’s investigation has amassed plenty of evidence documenting the illegal activities of family patriarch John Davenport, whose license to exhibit animals was permanently revoked in 1997 after a horrific incident in which a baby elephant named Heather died after being left overnight in a trailer in the New Mexico desert. Davenport has continued business as usual, for a decade, violating a federal court order barring him from the exotic animal business. Yet the case languishes in the USDA's Office of General Counsel, along with all the other elephant abuse cases the Bush Administration has failed to act upon.
* The USDA’s own reports document suspicious Tuberculosis (TB) test results on Jewel, and yet these reports are being ignored and Jewel is still on the road and in contact with other elephants and with the public.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has failed to protect Tina, Jewel and Queenie . . . .
* The USFWS documented the illegal sale of Tina and Jewel by the Cole Brothers Circus to the Davenports in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act. Although the case has been referred to a U.S. Attorney's office for possible criminal prosecution, no enforcement action has been taken to date. The USFWS must confiscate the illegally traded elephants and prosecute all parties to this sale.
What You Can Do:
1. Please contact your U.S. Senators and your Congressperson and urge them to hold the USDA and the USFWS accountable for their utter failure to help these elephants. If you send an email or letter, please follow it up with a phone call to ensure that your inquiry will be answered and action will be taken.
2. Help out if Circus Vazquez comes to your town. In the next few weeks, Circus Vazquez will be in North Carolina, Illinois, and New York. We need people who are willing to leaflet patrons of the Circus before the shows, and also people who are willing to go and observe the elephants and monitor their conditions with video and still cameras. Please contact Melissa Gonzalez at (707) 981-7701 or firstname.lastname@example.org if the elephants will be coming to your area and you can help!
Thank you so much for taking action on behalf of Tina, Jewel and Queenie.
Source: In Defense of Animals, l.
In Defense of Animals
Tel. (415) 388-9641 Fax (415) 388-0388
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