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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 4 September 2002 Issue


San Jose, CA -- Former Ringling Brothersı elephant handler Tom Rider announced today that he would reveal recent video footage of a circus employee tormenting elephants.

The video was recorded last week and exposes a Ringling Bros. elephant handler aggressively using a sharp bullhook on an elephant as the animals were unloaded from boxcars. The video was filmed by local activists opposed to using animals in circuses.

Circus animals are often abused violently during unloading from boxcars, in which they are forced to travel, in chains and small cages, for up to 48 weeks per year, deprived of their natural freedom. The animal handlers routinely use bullhooks, whips, and other weapons to control the animals, according to Riderıs congressional testimony and undercover videos.

Previous video footage caught Ringlingıs Mark Gebel-Williams and his crew using the bullhook to discipline elephants in San Francisco only several days after he was cited by the Santa Clara Valley Humane Society for elephant abuse in San Jose in 2001.

Mr. Rider, who worked for two and a half years as an elephant handler for Ringling Bros. and for Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus, resigned from circus work after he witnessed the ongoing animal abuse. He now devotes his career to speaking out against the animal cruelty that takes place at Ringling Bros. and other circuses that use animals. Mr. Rider follows Ringling Bros. across the country, conducting press conferences before circus performances and providing his knowledge of the rampant mistreatment.

³Mr. Rider is a powerful resource, with his firsthand experience witnessing the horrific cruelties that animals in circuses suffer on a daily basis, such as forced chaining, travel, violent training techniques, and other methods of abuse,² stated Dr. Katz. ³ We will continue to demand the removal of animals from circuses, and for the public to stop supporting this violence by only patronizing circuses that do not exploit and harm animals for profit.²

Source: In Defense Of Animals
Undercover Video Footage Available:

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