Hold Circus Accountable for Animal Abuse


Target: USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Goal: Stop the abuse and neglect of captive circus elephants

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus has a long history of pervasive animal abuse — everything from keeping animals locked in cramped, squalid conditions to forcing injured or sick animals to perform, thereby risking their well being. The circus and its parent company, Field Entertainment, Inc, are again the focus of animal abuse allegations centering around some of its most iconic performers.

PETA lodged a complaint last month with the U.S. Department of Agriculture accusing the company of violating the Animal Welfare Act by keeping three elephants locked in a boxcar for four straight days. The complaint originated with a recent report by USDA inspectors who ordered the circus to alter their veterinary care practices. In the report, handlers let slip that three elephants named Nicole, Sarah and Rudy, could not be administered medications for periods of up to four days because they were being kept in the boxcars used to transport them from one destination to the next.

Although Field Entertainment, Inc. denies the allegations, PETA’s complaint demands the USDA hold the company responsible for both withholding medical care from the trio of elephants as well as violating the ‘twenty eight hour law’ prohibiting extended confinement of animals.

Tell the USDA that the circus’ treatment of its performers is not just unethical but actually criminal, and that the company should be punished for its neglectful abuse.


Dear USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service,

A recent complaint filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), based on a report filed by USDA inspectors alleges two counts of abuse on the part of Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus, as well as its parent company, Field Entertainment, Inc. — the circus not only failed to administer important medications to three of its elephant performers, but also regularly kept the three locked in a transport car for as many as four days at a time.

This company is no stranger to allegations of animal abuse and neglect — there are countless documented instances of Ringling Bros.’ callous abuse and disregard for the lives of their animal performers ranging from keeping animals in unsanitary conditions and denying essential care to physical abuse. It is time that the USDA held this company to account its long, extensive history of abuse.

We, the undersigned, ask that the USDA impose harsh penalties on the Ringling Bros. Circus and Field Entertainment, Inc for this incident, and hold the company to much stricter regulations and sanctions to prevent future abuse.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Digital Wallpapers via Flickr

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  1. Cynthia Mahlin says:

    Felony animal abuse is now a possible charge by the FBI. New law.

  2. Each time I read what happens to animals in US it makes me sick!!! Surely this first class country should have a first class government looking into abuse to animals, sexual felony to animals. Come on US wake up to the smell of disgust, not just the coffee!

  3. Dana Pearce says:

    Why is RBC still allowed to torture these animals? What is taking so long with the USA to ban the torture of circus animals? This makes me so sick!

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