|"Ringling acknowledged that the images were taken at its facility but stated that the training methods depicted acceptable methods of professional elephant-training."|
As I mentioned before, elephants are trained through the use of bullhooks. These are metal-tipped prods that are whipped across the elephants head, ears, trunk and legs. I watched a video posted by PETA that was recorded throughout their undercover investigation and honestly could not believe what I was seeing. The elephants are constantly attacked by their handlers. Even while the elephants are standing still, trapped in some sick game of musical statues, these barbarians strike them over and over. They strike them whilst having conversations with each other, like the way you would beat a pen off a desk while talking to your friend at school.
This is a bullhook and quite honestly it would be at home in a museum cabinet of medieval torture equipment.
I was under the impression humans had become a little more civilised since then. Obviously I was wrong.
The evidence collected by PETA and the numerous complaints against Ringling for its treatment of animals has brought about the largest civil penalty against an animal exhibitor under the Animal Welfare Act according to The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has agreed to pay a record $270,000 fine to settle charges that it violated federal animal welfare laws and promises to improve the conditions for animals. Reports of abuse and mistreatment dated back some number of years included elephants being forced to perform despite pain from sand colic; wheelbarrows used to transport meat to tigers were also used to haul away their faeces; zebras escaping from their enclosures in two major incidences; splintered floors and rusted cages used to contain big cats and poor medical record-keeping. PETA has said that the fine is a good step, but it called on the government to confiscate the elephants. The charity has even offered to to purchase an animatronic elephant for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus if the circus retires all of its live performing elephants.
The fact is that even though more egregious instances of animal abuse have been reported in the circus industry historically, the aforementioned violations made by Ringling Bros. highlight the problem of using animals for entertainment purposes. Ethical treatment of animals takes a backseat to the profit circuses rake in from the crowds attracted to idea of seeing elephants and tigers. This has to stop. Animals are not here for our entertainment and are certainly not here to be subjected to a life of sorrow and pain for a quick buck.
CAPS (Captive Animals' Protection Society) s a UK-based charity leading the campaign to end the use of animals in entertainment. They really do amazing work and any way in which you can get involved or support this charity would make a huge difference to circus animals everywhere. Please click here to find out more.
We see this........
STOP ANIMAL CIRCUSES!