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Originally Posted: 15 March 2009
Unchain Tina, Jewel And Queenie From Circus Slavery
From Kinship Circle
It's time to get elephants out of circuses! Write to Chester A. Gipson, D.V.M., Deputy Administrator and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and demand Tina, Jewel and Queenie be sent to sanctuaries.
Tina and Jewel with Cole Bros. Queenie is forced to give rides
To receive a formatted letter (word doc), email Kinship Circle to copy/paste into an email or print letter to fax or mail.
FULL CONTACT INFORMATION
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Secretary of Agriculture: email
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SAMPLE LETTER. This letter is prepared to inform you about the issue. WRITE YOUR OWN LETTER using these talking points.
Dear Dr. Gipson and Secretary Vilsack:
You are likely aware of the 3/7/09 incident involving circus elephants in Indianapolis, Indiana. One elephant head butted another into a scaffold as people waited in line for elephant rides with the Murat Shrine Circus. The metal structure caved in. An adult and 12 children were injured.
It could have been worse. From 1990 to 2008, captive elephant incidents in the U.S. have led to 13 human deaths and 120 human injuries.
Shockingly, the Murat Shrine Circus resumed elephant rides at intermission. The elephants under Will Davenport's direction for the Murat Shrine Circus included Tina, Jewel and Queenie. The three have shown aggression in the past. Moreover, the USDA has continually cited the Davenport family for inhumane treatment and lack of veterinary care to elephants.
When will the USDA finally seize Tina, Jewel and Queenie to retire them to a sanctuary? Please facilitate their reprieve from chains and bull hooks -- and protect the public from captive elephant rampages. In addition, I urge you to revoke Will Davenport's USDA exhibitor license.
Davenport was ordered out the City of Los Angeles in April 2008, due to his history of animal cruelty. In 2007 Tina and Jewel were so underweight, the USDA took them off the travel circuit. Presently, the USDA is investigating the Davenport family for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking into their alleged breach of the federal Endangered Species Act.
Tina, Jewel and Queenie have suffered extreme physical and psychological stress while leased from circus to circus over the years. In 2007, Tina and Jewel were photographed on a nearly shade-less cement slab engulfed in debris. Underweight and without access to water, they rocked back and forth.
I strongly encourage the USDA to clamp down on alleged animal abusers like Will Davenport. Please also remove Tina, Jewel and Queenie from travel, shows or rides. After suspect Tuberculosis test results on Jewel and numerous wounds congruent with ankus abuse -- it is well past time to authorize their release to an accredited sanctuary.
I sincerely hope this administration breathes new life into the "animal care" arm of USDA-APHIS.
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For images of brutality toward elephants in circuses and zoos, visit our image gallery.
The calf photo on these pages is from Farm Sanctuary with our thanks.
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