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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

8 March 2001 Fact Sheet


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus paints a picture of happy animals doing tricks because they like to. We ask you to read the following and decide whether that's true. Here are Ringling's own words juxtaposed with the facts:

Ringling: "At Ringling Bros., the relationship between animals and humans is built on mutual respect, trust, and affection." Reality: Video footage of Ringling trainers shows an elephant being whipped in the face and gouged with metal hooks.

Ringling: "We are proud of our USDA inspection reports."

Reality: Ringling Bros.' USDA inspection reports are riddled with instances in which federal inspectors found that Ringling Bros. had failed to comply with minimum federal regulations, including a failure to provide animals with exercise, a failure to provide sufficient space, and not keeping the proper veterinary records.

Ringling: "None of our animals are taken from the wild."

Reality: The Asian Elephant Regional Stud Book, the industry resource for information on elephant births, deaths, and captures, shows that the majority of Ringling's elephants were captured in the wild.

Ringling: "Trainers teach animals routines that showcase their natural behaviors, beauty, and distinctive personalities."

Reality: In nature, bears don't ride bicycles, elephants don't stand on their heads, and a tiger would never hop on his hind legs. To force wild animals to perform confusing acts, trainers use whips, muzzles, electric prods, and bullhooks. In their real homes, these animals would be free to raise their families, forage for food, and play together. Instead, the circus forces them to perform night after night, for 48 to 50 weeks every year. Between acts, elephants are kept chained and tigers are "stored" in cages with barely enough room to take one step. Ringling has also invented a "unicorn" by mutilating a baby goat--surgically moving his horns to the center of his forehead.

Ringling: "Future generations will be able to experience the wonder ... of Asian elephants because of what we're doing today."

Reality: Ringling has opposed improvements to the lives of captive elephants, including proposed laws banning cruel training methods, such as electrocution and the withholding of food, and laws that would limit the amount of time elephants can be shackled by their legs.

It's up to you to make a difference. Choose only circuses that do not use animals. For a list of circuses that don't use animals visit this URL  

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
501 Front St.,
Norfolk, VA 23510;
Circuses.comFactsheetsRingling BrothersKids' CornerThe AnimalsSchedulesQuick FactsWhat You Can Do

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