Circus Elephants Get Day In Court
Here's a splash of good news from U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan in the federal court case initiated by a number of animal protection groups against Ringling Brothers. The Fund for Animals, ASPCA, Animal Protection Institute and Animal Welfare Institute are co-plaintiffs in a case against the world's best-known circus, charging that Ringling's mistreatment of elephants amounts to violation of the Endangered Species Act.
A federal judge yesterday rejected Ringling's claims to throw out the suit. The case now goes to trial, perhaps early next year.
At trial, the court will hear and see ample evidence of the abusive treatment of elephants by the handlers, and the terrible and unsatisfactory transport and living conditions that the animals endure on a regular basis. A successful outcome would halt the company's severe mistreatment of the elephants.
The elephants owned by Ringling are transported on rail cars from city to city, kept on chains for 20 hours or more each day, and not able to live in their family groups, as they would in the wild. Ringling casts itself as a friend of elephants, when just the opposite is true.
You'll hear more from me on this later. For now, here's the AP story.