Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704


Circus can't defend cruelty to animals

Published in THE JOURNAL NEWS, 2/15/02:

Recently The New York Times ran a full-page ad written by Kenneth Feld of the Ringling Bros. Circus, which maligned animal-protection activities and lauded Ringling as "caretakers of our animal partners." As a dedicated animal-rights volunteer, I wish to address certain omissions in this ad.

Mr. Feld boasts of the acquittal of a famed elephant trainer during an animal cruelty case in San Jose; but, unfortunately, celebrities are frequently afforded less harsh treatment by the court system - this has always been so, and continues to this date. Our system of justice, though one of the best in the world, isn't without flaws; sometimes the innocent are sent to jail, sometimes the guilty walk free.

Far from being a philanthropist, Ringling's involvement with animals stops immediately the day they do not create a profit for Ringling.

If Ringling really wants to help animals, why doesn't it apply some of its $200 million-plus yearly profit to the protection and conservation of the animal's homeland, as other organizations have?

Animal-user circuses are poachers who feed the fascination with watching nonhuman animals perform unnatural acts.

Fact: The U.S. Department of Agriculture repeatedly cites Ringling for failure to provide care to dying animals, possess records of veterinary care, or provide animals with sufficient space and exercise. In less than two years, two baby elephants died, a caged tiger was shot to death, a horse who was used despite a chronic medical condition died during Ringling's traditional animal march, and a wild-caught sea lion was found dead in her transport container.

Kiley Blackman

The writer is spokesperson,
Animal Defenders of Westchester

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