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Monday, May 19, 2014

Circus Elephants: Abuse Case Settled, Restrictions Debated

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus artists and elephants perform during Barnum's FUNundrum in New York on March 26, 2010. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus artists and elephants perform during Barnum’s FUNundrum in New York on March 26, 2010. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Last week, the Humane Society and other animal rights activists paid $15 million to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, to settle a lawsuit alleging the circus abused its animals, but which was called “frivolous” by a judge hearing the case.

Because the case was settled, the courts never ruled on the question of animal abuse. One Virginia Congressman wants to limit circus use of animals.

U.S. Rep. Jim Moran has re-filed a bill to restrict the use of exotic animals by traveling circuses. He discusses the measure with Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Interview Highlights: U.S. Rep. Jim Moran

On the effect of the ruling on the cause

“It’s not really a setback. The conclusion was fairly predictable: the judge ruled that the animal welfare groups did not have standing to bring the case. The issue is still alive. I don’t consider it a defeat. It’s a bit of a setback, but it’s not one that we couldn’t have predicted.”

On educating people about treatment of animals in circuses

“I think all we can do is present the facts: they use these bullhooks, whips, metal pipes, kicks to the head. That’s how they get them to perform. And we have any number of cases where we have seen the animals have been confined for, in some cases, 98 percent of their life in a small, little cage.”

On circuses’ argument that they raise people’s animal awareness

“They should be aware of wild animals as they normally function in the wild. Their perception of an elephant or a lion or a tiger should not be standing on their hind legs, bouncing a ball.”

On the chance of his circus animal protection bill being passed

“It’s not impossible, but I know that there’s a lot of resistance to it. We can’t give up, because the animals can’t speak out for themselves.”

Guest

  • Jim Moran, Democratic U.S. Representative for Virginia’s 8th congressional district. He tweets @Jim_Moran.

Transcript

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

Well, a 14-year legal battle over circus elephants is over. The Humane Society and other groups filed lawsuits against Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, alleging abuse of Asian elephants. A judge ruled those suits frivolous. The animals' rights groups are now paying out millions to Feld. And because the case was settled, the question of animal abuse was never decided.

Undaunted, Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran is pushing a bill to restrict the use of animals by traveling circuses. He is chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus and joins us now. And Congressman, isn't this ruling a setback for your cause?

REPRESENTATIVE JIM MORAN: It's not really a setback. The conclusion was fairly predictable: the judge ruled that the animal welfare groups did not have standing to bring the case. The issue is still alive. I don't consider it a defeat. It's a bit of a setback, but it's not one that we couldn't have predicted.

YOUNG: A setback. Well, it also isn't the first loss.

MORAN: That's right.

YOUNG: Previously it was discovered that a circus worker named Tom Rider(ph) was being paid by animal rights groups to testify, and then it was found that he was lying about his charges of abuse. And again, you say that there was a legal technicality here, but just on the face of it, here's a case in which a judge says claims of abuse in a lawsuit are frivolous. The public interpretation is going to be oh, animals are not being mistreated.

MORAN: Well, I think all we can do is present the facts. They use these bull hooks, whips, metal pipes, kicks to the head. That's how they get them to perform. And we have any number of cases where we have seen the animals have been confined for, in some cases, 98 percent of their life in a small, little cage. And...

YOUNG: Well in fact you can go to the PITA website, and you can see videos of elephants being horribly treated, hit by these bull hooks for no apparent reason. And we know that Feld Entertainment, we should say, was fined. They had a record fine in I believe 2011 for violating the Animal Welfare Act. So there is that on that side of the equation.

And it's also interesting, we're reading just today of David Balding. He was the man who produced circus shows. He was in the 2011 documentary "One Lucky Elephant," about his relationship with the elephant Flora. And he decided just what you're saying, because he loved this elephant, he could no longer have her in a circus. He let her go into an elephant sanctuary. These are the things you're talking about.

But what do you say to, for instance, Feld Entertainment's claims that, first of all, they're building an animal compound on their property in Florida for animals to live when they're not touring. And they also say, and other circuses do, as well, animals in the circus are making children aware of animals, they're helping to, you know, preserve them for future generations, helping people appreciate them. What do you say to that?

MORAN: They should be aware of wild animals as they normally function in the wild. Their perception of an elephant or a lion or a tiger should not be standing on their hind legs and bouncing a ball.

YOUNG: Well Congressman Moran, do you think you have any chance of passing your animal protection bill restricting the use of animals by traveling circuses?

MORAN: It's not impossible, but I know that there's a lot of resistance to it. We can't give up, because the animals can't speak out for themselves.

YOUNG: Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia. He's filed a bill to restrict the use of animals by traveling circuses and is chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. Congressman Moran, thanks so much for your time.

MORAN: It's my pleasure.

YOUNG: And your thoughts, animals in the circus, go to hereandnow.org. You're listening to HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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  • Robert Inc

    It is hard to find anything more deplorable and disgusting then the way these circuses are allowed to treat these animals. NONE of them should be allowed to use ANY animals for performance. The reasoning of “trying to preserve species for future generations” is almost as disgusting. There is a special place in (you know where) for the people who treat other creatures this way.

    • Gary Payne

      What I find deplorable and disgusting is the lies that are regurgitated by animal rights propagandists and their well meaning but brainwashed volunteers….

      • BerksBound

        Yes Gary, all the video and photographic evidence of cruelty is faked, lol. Speaking of brainwashed….

        What IS truly deplorable and disgusting – beyond the proven cruelty to elephants in circuses – are the abject lies being told by circus trolls who refuse to admit the truth of how animals are abused in the circus.

        • Gary Payne

          You are so wrong…. Another person using an alias and asking us to believe the propaganda. I’m sorry, those of us who actuall see how well treated these animals are and how mis-guided the animal extremists are realize that you’re just inclined to drink the KoolAid because it’s easier.

          • BerksBound

            LOL, yes, the undercover investigations, the copious amounts of evidence, including reports, pictures and video and the YEAR LONG investigation covered in Mother Jones, they’re all staged, right? And I’ve got some swampland in Florida to sell you.

            Here’s one: Ringling: The Cruelest Show on Earth: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2011/10/ringling-bros-elephant-abuse

          • Gary Payne

            LOL! “Undercover investigations”! Tis YOUR side selling the swampland! And the public isn’t buying your propaganda like they used to. So here you are, peddling more propaganda. Go to a circus – see for yourself – the animals are as loved and well cared for as my dog who is spoiled rotten.

          • Nanette Valencia

            Then show us footage of the animals been trained, no one is taking your word for it

          • Alexis Kaiser

            I totally take Gary’s word for it. So you are wrong. There are training videos on the internet by Elephant Ambassadors, btw

          • Nanette Valencia

            Well, of course YOU do

          • Gary Payne

            Alexis is right! There are videos of actual elephant training sessions. You simply choose to watch the propaganda circulated by extremists, most of whom conduct fund raising scams.

          • Nanette Valencia

            You may call it propaganda but these animals are being hurt, plain and simple

          • Alexis Kaiser

            No, in reality, except with the video you shared, in which I would be an idiot not to agree with you, they aren’t. Understand most of these AR videos are photoshopped, out of context and dated. Moreover, guiding an elephant with a “guide” is not hurting it. A guide weights about two llbs, an elephant 2 tons! If someone really went to town an elephant, it would more than likely be the last time. Please, as Gary and I have suggested, check out some other videos.

          • Nanette Valencia

            Thank you for your response, Alexis

          • Nanette Valencia

            Good to know, thank you

          • Gary Payne

            Making a statement like that – without proof….THAT is the crime I see here.

          • Nanette Valencia

            Uh, the video I posted is what I’m talking about (???)

          • Gary Payne

            So please tell us dear WHY WHY WHY will you not use that video in a court of law?

          • Nanette Valencia

            I’m not sure it hasn’t but the abuse is happening somewhere, obviously or these videos wouldn’t exist

          • Gary Payne

            These videos exist so that the animal rights fund raising scams can influence victims like YOU Nanette to do their dirty work, spread their propaganda and send them money! Want to see animals that are loved and well cared for? Want to meet people doing what they can to SAVE the asian elephant from extinction? Go see a circus!

          • Nanette Valencia

            The proof is in the videos, have you never seen one? It’s easy enough to look up

          • Gary Payne

            Abuse of an animal is a crime Nanette….so WHY was this video not useful as proof?? I know why. You have been fooled. The courts have not.

          • Alexis Kaiser

            He has been around circus as long as I have. He has seen what I have. Why wouldn’t I? Kind of a strange remark. I have not seen abuse in 30 years. In fact went to Tijuana yesterday and the PETA people were there. The vet had just given the tigers a glowing report of health and happiness. Yet the PETA people were saying the tigers were abused and neglected. HELLOOOO

          • Nanette Valencia

            “Kind of a strange remark.” I wasn’t referring to the people who agree with Gary, I was referring to the rest of us, of course

          • Gary Payne

            The courts continue to find your so called “evidence” and “undercover video” tainted and you continue to hide behind an alias Mr/or is it Ms “BerksBound”?

          • Louise Fallon O’Hara

            Gary Payne Eastern Vice President at Circus Fans Association of America, you are the one spreading your propaganda of the mythical perfect circus life imagined by performers and crew, where everything is wonderful and everyone gets the respect and conditions they deserve, plus some.
            In the Ringling Bros and Barnham & Bailey circus, elephants are beaten, hit, poked, prodded, and jabbed with sharp hooks, sometimes until bloody. Tigers are viciously struck with sticks so that they’ll perform difficult and confusing tricks .Animals live a dismal life in which they are dominated, confined, and violently trained. Workers routinely beat, shock, and whip them until they learn to perform ridiculous tricks that make no sense to them.

          • Gary Payne

            Your assertions are false Louise. You choose to slander people that I know. May God forgive you.

    • twells

      The animals in circuses enjoy a better life than maybe 1/2 of the human population on the earth. Lets try to keep the deplorable and despicable in perspective.

  • pdluzio

    Thank you for doing this story, and also thanks to Rep Jim Moran for his bill. I have contacted my Rep that I expect support of the bill.

  • Amanda Marie Benson-Bremseth

    Thankfully there are some with a voice of power like Senator Moran. He is putting his ability to good use- there are few things more important than humane education and the abolition of these heinous crimes against nature.

    • gene clark

      He’s not a senator.

      • loveofcircus

        She’s an animal right activist don’t expect her to have any real knowledge.

        • Nanette Valencia
          • loveofcircus

            No I don’t think it’s OK for someone that has no grasp of the truth to attack circuses.

          • Nanette Valencia

            It’s right there, apparently it doesn’t bother you

          • Nanette Valencia

            It’s right there, are you blind? Show us your footage of how the trainers treat the animals then

          • loveofcircus

            I said It bothers me. It bothers me that animal extremist lie! Fabricate stories, pay drunks to commit perjury. It’s all right there I wish the settlement that the HSUS had to pay was much higher.

          • Nanette Valencia

            I guess you didn’t watch the link I posted since you’re not addressing it

          • loveofcircus

            Why would I watch anything that was produced by groups that have been proven to be liars? The court has ruled and HSUS pays 16 plus millions on top of almost 10 million from the aspca. Lies Propaganda is all we get for the animal extremists.

          • Nanette Valencia

            If you cared about animals you would care about what’s happening to them. I can see you want to keep your head in the sand

          • Gary Payne

            The abuse of an animal is a crime Ms Valencia. Circus people are AGAINST the abuse of any animal. A crime must be proved in a court of law. The burden of proof is on YOU. Time and again the circus is found NOT GUILTY. I’ll tell you what I witness…..the ABUSE of the circus and it’s fans by an

          • Gary Payne

            I witness the ABUSE of the circus and it’s fans by animal rights extremists! The public has grown weary of the constant crying of “wolf” by extremists. Look for abuse of animals where it exists Ms Valencia – on the streets of the community in which you live.

          • Nanette Valencia

            You got that right and I donate to victims of abuse regularly

      • BerksBound

        Who cares.

  • Respectall

    I don’t go to circuses exactly because of the animals and their reported treatment. Additionally, to my mind, otherwise wild animals should not be made to do things that are not natural to them (like jump through a ring of fire or walk on their back legs). These animals are intelligent and to treat them as mere THINGS for entertainment
    does not respect their innate beauty and value.

    • Gary Payne

      Fear not “Respectall”, circus animals are loved and well cared for. I wish I had their health care plan.

  • vericlare

    Ditto to the folks who already commented against the practice of animals in a circus. It disgusts me so and I thank Rep Jim Moran for his bill, also, The poor animals would thank him also if they could.

  • Sartria Smith

    Animals are not here for our use–and that includes for “entertainment.” Circuses may be fun for the people who attend them, but they are living hell for the animals exploited in them. My family boycotts circuses.

    • Gary Payne

      You should know that in over 40 years direct observation of the circus and it’s animals I have never known a baby elephant to be removed from it’s mother unless the mother presented a danger to baby or the other way around.

      • pcuvie

        Gary – your lies were refuted by Ringling’s head elephant trainer Gary Jacobsen during his testimony at the trial and after the photos of Ringling’s baby elephant training were released. Are you related to their Ringling’s PR person Stephen Payne?

        • Gary Payne

          Oh boy, “pcuvie”…another alias! You’re full of baloney. Plain and simple. Steve and I are not related as far as either of us knows. I first met Steve in Hartford, CT during his first week with the Ringling show.

  • Beth Ann Sherman

    Animals should be left to live their lives in the wild. Humans should stop abusing our fellow animals- stop capturing them, mistreating them, experimenting on them, and destroying their habitat.

    • Gary Payne

      Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all live where conditions are just perfect Beth Ann! All humans should live in Honolulu where the temp and humidity are perfect year round. I agree that animals should NOT be mis-treated and their habitat should be protected….Would you accept extinction of the asian elephant? (The circus is working to prevent extinction) Thank goodness circus animals are loved and well cared for! I wish I had the health care plan that the circus elephants enjoy.

      • gene clark

        I wished I had someone care for me with a tender bull hook.

        • Alexis Kaiser

          A bull hook is a guide that weighs about two pounds. An elephant weighs two tons, give us a break.

          • Nanette Valencia

            How about getting beaten with one?

          • Alexis Kaiser

            I wouldn’t know about anyone or anything being beating with a guide. Do you have that information. Information of an actual beating? What is your definition of beating?

          • Nanette Valencia
          • Alexis Kaiser

            Looks collobrated by PETA and ADI on a circus in Germany too me. I’m sure edited. However, the poodles and the monkey abuse was appalling. The rest of the circus industry shouldn’t be judged by a bad few. I don’t know the rules in foreign countries. In the US we have to answer to many high powers and keep the standards for animal welfare so high. I love animals and I love my circus animals. I’m sure this video was probably edited, but those people handling those monkey and poodles should be taken out to the dumpster for a cigarette. Please don’t judge us all by that. There are many videos that will show you contrary life to animals under human care.

          • Nanette Valencia

            I hope you’re right, but then I see things like this

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wjb3HjAYUY

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Please understand,this is what the AR’s want you to see to further their agenda. They are generally edited and taken out of context. As I told you, I love animals, I couldn’t be in the business if I didn’t (not exactly getting rich). The internet has become these cults most powerful tactic in recruiting people. Please look up Elephant Ambassadors. Also, if you would like to see the loving bond an elephant and trainer can develop, google up Huell Houser and The Elephant Man and have Kleenex. Nannette, there are bad apples in all groups, we can agree on that. For the most part, our animals are our lives and our livelihood. The AR movement has robbed people of livlihoods, taken away animals we love from us and have really damaged the lives of people I love. Like I have always asked, if you don’t like animals in the circus, don’t go. Just leave us be to do what we love to do as much as life itself. I hate this war that is going on. I hate getting mouthy with people I don’t even know. But I love the circus and I will fight for it till the day I die. I don’t want to have to do this.

    • Alexis Kaiser

      Circus animals aren’t taken from the wild It’s been over 30 years since importing Asian eles into the US has become illegal, so don’t know where the “capturing” part comes in. If your child was sick with a life threatening illness, would not our feelings change on animal research if a cure could be found t hat way?, Are you really comfortable in speaking for parents whose children could be in that position? I’ve been in circus for thirty years, I’ve never seen an animal mistreated, where have you seen that? Please don’t say YOUTUBE

  • spiller

    I’m all for treating animals humanely and deplore using wild animals in circus acts. But please don’t conflate elephants with wild animals. Elephants, like horses, are domestic animals and have been so since 2000 b.c. The “bull hooks” you describe are training tools used for thousands of years and are not cruel unless used incorrectly. Would you have people stop using dressage whips and bits as aids to train their horses? Collars and leashes for dogs?

    • gene clark

      Don’t forget bullwhips for slaves. They’re trying to take our freedom away, first by taking away our slaves, then giving women equal rights, then taking away the right to employee children in good hard work like coal mining, and now, they want to take away our freedom to use animals as we please, like the good Lord intended.

      • loveofcircus

        So animals are equal to women and slaves.

    • Nanette Valencia

      They aren’t used correctly, they are used to cause pain

      • Gary Payne

        How in the world can you make that statement? You know nothing whatsoever about the care of circus elephants. I have NEVER seen the guide tools used to cause pain. The trainer’s goal is to encourage the animal to come to him/her, NOT to run…. You are not even using logic and common sense.

        • Nanette Valencia

          I’m talking about the trainers hitting the elephants with them. You’ve never seen it but there is footage and it’s real, sad to say. I even say a man go into a cage with an elephant and hit it till the elephant bled blood. The man was upset because he lost money gambling. So, yes, there’s a lot of evil out there

          • Gary Payne

            WHO is “the man”? WHERE did this occur? “Into a cage” – on a circus? No elephants are “caged” on a circus. WHY was this not reported? Abuse (if it is real) is a crime. I’d have reported it without hesitation. On the other hand: A FALSE report made to police can be prosecuted can’t it? Again I state to you that in over 40 years direct observation on circuses all over, including backstage and at winterquarters, I have NEVER seen any abuse of animals. I almost always arrive unannounced.

          • Nanette Valencia

            It was reported, this was a story I read about several years ago with a video. I’m glad you haven’t seen abuse, and that the animals are treated well

          • Gary Payne

            Thank you for listening Nanette. One should not believe all they see on the internet or in videos. They are planted there for you to see.

  • A Giovanni Zoppé

    By the comments listed here it sounds like this senator I will be reelected.

    Please everyone, if you wish to have a voice in this issue educate yourself on it. Don’t only listen to organizations like PETA or politicians with their own agenda.

  • Harley

    I have worked in and outside the fringes of the circus industry for about 40 years. I cannot agree with Mr. Moran.

    Mr. Moran may be a congressman, but that doesn’t mean his “knowledge” is worth more than a pile of elephant droppings. He’s very good, however, at spouting PETA talking points, even though a lot of them have been repeatedly disproved.

    PETA itself, supposedly the paragon of animal care, has been caught on a number of occasions dumping the bodies of animals it euthanizes in association with its “no-kill” shelters. I believe I saw a statistic of about a 90% kill rate. That’s humane? They are lying hypocrites with a political agenda.

    For an organization that loudly pronounces the evil of raising animals for purposes of medical research and/or transplant, isn’t it a bit ironic that their main ideologue has a pig valve in her heart?

    Training animals has changed a lot in the last 40 years. The days of the big brave game hunter beating ferocious wild animals into submission, are done. Most trainers now, can be seen giving rewards to their animals while they work. The animals are usually trained to perform naturally-occurring behaviors, and are rewarded with affection and food.

    I do not suggest that all animals live in the lap of luxury, or that all trainers are superb, but for the most part, they are conscientious people who care greatly for their friends/animals, and put their welfare above that of their own human families. I have seen it repeatedly.

    Sure, a lot of critters might be better off in the wild. The key word is “might”. But then, they might not. They get top of the line veterinary care. They get good food, on a regular basis. Contrary to what PETA says, they get regular exercise. Many trainers and circuses go out of the way to ensure that animals get play time. Animals are a major investment of both money, time, and responsibility. They are not taken lightly.

    Let us discuss the “wild”, because I have never heard such discussion from a PETA representative.

    What have PETA or Mr. Moran done to encourage population control in India, Africa, and south Asia, where the natural habitats of tigers and elephants (for example) are being destroyed by human population encroachment?

    Habitat encroachment often occurs because of political corruption. What have PETA or Mr. Moran done to counter that, in Indonesia and India?

    Habitat encroachment in Sumatra and southern Asia is epidemic right now, because of unbridled expansion of plantations for production of palm oil. What have PETA or Mr. Moran done to counter this?

    What have PETA or Mr. Moran done to help prevent the spread of canine distemper among wild tiger populations in India and Siberia?

    What have PETA or Mr. Moran done to prevent Russian oligarchs from poaching Siberian tigers from helicopters, just for fun?

    What have PETA or Mr. Moran done to stop tiger poaching in India, with the goal of selling body parts to the Chinese medicine trade? What have they done to educate a billion people in China that dried powdered tiger penis will not increase a mans virility?

    The answer to ALL of my questions is “Nothing.” Until PETA and Mr. Moran are willing to become educated about, and to work on the real problems, they should just be quiet. But they won’t. They make too much money in donations from spouting irresponsible nonsense.

    • gene clark

      What have the circuses done to limit human population in the countries where tigers and elephants still live in the wild? You can’t compare horrible PETA (which isn’t even mentioned in this article) with the saintly circuses, whose mission is to preserve the habitat of the Asian Elephant with every blow of the holy bull hook. When did the circuses turn into non-profit animal welfare groups?

      • loveofcircus

        When did profit become a bad word? and When did it become OK for a “non profit” to have hundreds of millions of dollars and pay huge salaries to staff?

        • BerksBound

          Try to follow along…. when profit is at the expense of abuse and cruelty, THAT’S when it’s bad.

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Yeah, but look at the abuse of people by Wayne and Ingrid and other’s like them, that’s not bad?

        • Alexis Kaiser

          Exactly. One should see the salaries of these crooks like Wayne and Ingrid. They are in it for their own agenda on how people should live, as well as making themselves lots and lots of money by playing on peoples emotions and love of animals. It’s disgusting.

        • gene clark

          You’re so blinded by your utterly selfish desire for circuses to continue to use/abuse animals that you don’t even get the point of my post. Mine was a response to another that asked what PETA has done for all the problems affecting wild animal species that are used in circuses, while implying that the mission of circuses is to help animals. This is my last response to you. Slavers didn’t have epiphanies after they lost the Civil War; they finally died. Someday, maybe after you and your fellow Neanderthals are dead, harming animals for entertainment, like rodeos and circuses, will be illegal, and your kind will be remembered like all the others who fought every step of cultural moral progress from the dawn of civilization.

      • Alexis Kaiser

        RBBB spends more money on researching and preserving the species than any other entity in the world. Feld is a billionaire and gives of his time and money to care and carry on the species, just fyi

        • gene clark

          This “research” and “preservation” money wouldn’t cover the costs of shipping, breeding, feeding, training, caging its own animals, would it? I’d love to see the reference for your assertion, and see if any mainstream true conservation groups acknowledge this. Feld is known as a big businessman, not an animal activist (Ha ha!). I wouldn’t be surprised if he were an exotic big game killer. Any money he’s spent towards wildlife conservation is simply done as goodwill for the brand, and I’m sure it started only after heavy protesting against animals in his circuses. I’d be very surprised if it amounted to more $ than any other entity, billionaire or not.

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Have you any idea what it costs to run the CEC on an annual basis? Do you even know how many elephants he owns and how much each one costs a year to take care of? Do you know the work they do there? The experts that are employed there? You assume he’s a big game hunter? You know his motives behind how he spends his money? You know why he started the CEC, why? What other ignorant statements do you want to make? You may as well make them now, you are on one hell of a roll!!!

          • gene clark

            You ignored my question. Again, please refer to the amount of money Feld donates to “research” and “preservation” of wild animals. You wrote that it was more than any other entity. I doubt it. You are apparently calling the maintenance costs of the CEC,–which is an elephant farm for Feld’s circuses–”research” and “preservation.” Man, that is so twisted. I can only guess what happened to used-up circus elephants before Feld created the CEC in 1995. I can also surmise that it was created only due to embarrassing criticism of circus elephant treatment by animal activists in the 1980s and 90s. Feld is a businessman, and he does what’s good for his bottom line (profit).

            In the years leading to the Civil War, if the South had only made some gestures to improve slave welfare in response to the growing abolitionist movement, they might have held onto slavery a lot longer. Instead, they defiantly held to their barbarism and clamored continually to expand it to new territory. It’s a lesson learned by some.

    • Alexis Kaiser

      Bravo Harley, bravo.

  • A Giovanni Zoppé

    The more I think about this the more it bothers me. I have been around amimals my entire life and animals can speak, my father has worked with ever kind of animal you can think of and they all spoke to him. if you have a dog you know when they are happy just by the way they act, that goes as well for all kinds of animals. If animals spoke with their months, they would ask Mr. Moran to please stop.

    • gene clark

      I’m sure if they spoke with their “months,” they would say, “Please let us continue this wonderful life in train cars, in small cages, and tied to stakes. We love performing dumb tricks. We love bull hooks, metal rods, and whips. Please give us more!”

      • Gary Payne

        You assume that the care of these animals is as you’ve been told by animal rights propagandists gene. You know what happens when one assumes?

        • Nanette Valencia

          I’ve seen it and that’s all I need to know. The circus trainers are evil and violent but apparently that’s okay with some people

          • Gary Payne

            Your assertions are false. I don’t know a single person in the business that is as you describe. When one goes so far as to speak as you have, that is what I find evil.

          • Nanette Valencia
          • Nanette Valencia

            Yes, this abuse is okay but saying it is wrong is evil.

          • Gary Payne

            O boy….another alias! “Guest” must feel very strongly about his/her cause and chooses to forward more propaganda. I say again, because I have witnessed it for myself, over a period of more than 40 years study – Most circus animals are loved and well cared for!

          • Nanette Valencia

            Yes, this abuse is okay but criticizing it is evil.

            https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=324008561090209

          • Nanette Valencia

            So this abuse is okay but saying it’s wrong is evil.

            https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=324008561090209

          • Nanette Valencia

            https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=324008561090209
            If this isn’t evil to you then there’s something seriously wrong with you

          • Nanette Valencia

            ttps://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=324008561090209

            If this isn’t evil to you then there’s something seriously wrong with you

          • Nanette Valencia

            ttps://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=324008561090209

          • Nanette Valencia

            Apparently you’ve never seen their training methods in use

          • Gary Payne

            I have seen them. Many times. No animals are harmed at the circus. That is a common lie regurgitated by animal rights fund raising businesses.

    • Alexis Kaiser

      Absolutely right!

  • Michael Haberland

    I have been a circus fan for over 35 years. In that period the care and training of wild animals has changed and improved with the times just as medical practices and surgeries have. Circus animals are loved and cared for as family members. Any “trick” you see in the circus is a natural behavior or an extension of that natural behavior. In the wild all animals stand on their hind legs. Big cats and horses for fighting for dominance and elephants for breeding or reaching tree limbs for food. Horses and all other hoof stock animals have natural gaits for running. All big cats jump from rock to rock or from the ground to high spots. Animals trained using fear and pain never work and are constantly nervous around any human. Go to the circus and see first hand the animals their work and living areas and speak to the trainers and keepers. Watch how happy and comfortable the animals are.

    • Gary Payne

      I agree!

    • gene clark

      Whatever care has improved in the past several decades is a result of the criticism of use/abuse of animals in circuses.

      Try to go to the circus first-hand, and video record what goes on with the animals behind the scenes. You’ll be threatened and run-off! Video footage of animal abuse is difficult to get, as the abusers understandably try to hide their “loving care.” Still, there’s plenty that’s been obtained. You will see lots of “circosis,” repetitive movements of animals driven crazy by nearly constant captivity with limited mobility. As Bob Dylan sang in “Like A Rolling Stone,” You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and clowns when they all come down and did tricks for you.

      • Gary Payne

        Dear “gene”: I have been backstage often, unannounced, with and without cameras. I was never “run off” and I never observed any abuse whatsoever of the circus animals. Quite the opposite in fact. I strongly suspect you did not get taken to the circus when you were a child and you have developed a resentment and seek revenge. I am very sorry if that is the case. I respectfully ask that you leave those who would be fans of the circus alone and cease to bully sir. You may choose not to attend a circus, but the rest of the world has the right to decide.

        • Nanette Valencia

          Were you there when the training methods were in use? I seriously doubt they would abuse an animal in front of witnesses. That’s why the hidden cameras show us the truth

          • Gary Payne

            Often. Yes. Circus animals are not abused dear. To abuse such a valuable animal, a member of the circus family, makes no logical or reasonable sense. Fear not. You’ve seen one propaganda film (aka “hidden” camera) too many.

          • Nanette Valencia

            Yes, I have and it’s painful to watch

      • loveofcircus

        and where did you receive your degree in animal behavior? How many years did you work hands on with animals?

        • gene clark

          You would ask whether critics of Hitler’s concentration camps had doctorates in the physiology of starvation or psychology of torture. I’m sure that there were “veterinarians” like you back in 1850 to report how the blacks really enjoyed their slavery.

          • The_Truth_Seeker(TM)

            Good one!!!!

  • loveofcircus

    Isn’t it time for MR. Moran to retire? It’s good to know that the circus is the most pressing issue in the US. Jobs must not be a problem, Do dept problem, No threats of terrorism, No wars, No poverty,
    If you don’t like the circus don’t go. You have no right to force others to live by your cult like beliefs.

    • Gary Payne

      Great proposal “loveofcircus” . What a concept! Allow the people to decide (to attend a circus or not) for themselves! Sounds like America!

      • The_Truth_Seeker

        Yup, we used to be able to “keep” slaves too!!

        • Gary Payne

          Interesting. “The_Truth_Seeker” has a lot to say but hides behind an alias.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Lots of people use aliases on the internet. If you don’t, that’s not very smart. What? – you expect a celebrity, or someone like that, to use their real name and supply their real email address? If you have a boss, they can also fire you for almost anything you say on the internet, or consider that when hiring you. I advise everyone never to use their real names when making comments on line. I you want people to know who you are, then write a blog, or an article, or a book (but then even book authors use aliases, sometimes).

          • BerksBound

            And I don’t use my real name anymore after being stalked and harassed by three animal abuse apologists (who all support the circus, not surprisingly). Animal exploiters are ruthless in their efforts to distort the truth and bully anyone exposing the truth about their treatment of animals.

          • loveofcircus

            Death threats from the animal rights people are common.

          • BerksBound

            Please do name them then. Because all I’ve experienced first hand are threats and harassment from your side.

          • Alexis Kaiser

            I got in Mr. Vlasceks face with a camera in Simi Valley, CA as I was allowed to do as its my property while I’m renting it. He said, “you better step back, because I am not as nice as the rest of them.” His tone was, in my opinion, quite threatening. My husband had a knife pointed at him when he tried to disarm and remove (foolishly by himself) cultists from our animal department while we were in San Jose. And that was all up close and personal and way before FB. Where were you threatened AKA BerksBound? Give me a break, you have not lived the life, what you know is all wrong.

          • loveofcircus

            The figure skater last ne me Weir has had his life threatened for wearing fur. A terminally ill young lady was threatened for supporting animal testing,
            Camille Marino is an animal rights activist convicted of stalking and threatening the life of a doctor involved in animal testing.

            Daniel Andreas San Diego (born February 9, 1978) is the first American environmentalist added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list. He is a straight edge vegan and animal liberationist who has an alleged association with the Animal Liberation Brigade cell responsible for two bombings in 2003. He is believed to have ties to Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty.[1][2][3][4]
            Plus vandalism, and arson to fur farms, research facilities, circus equipment and daily internet threats from animal extremists.

          • Alexis Kaiser

            People who fall prey to these cults don’t know what they are really supporting. Just like the Nazis.

          • Nanette Valencia

            It’s the animal trainers who are Nazis

          • Alexis Kaiser

            How would you explain that?

          • Nanette Valencia

            I left you a link on another post

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Not really. Many believe that the AR movement actually had its beginnings in Nazi Germany. Hitler and Gohering were both vegans, anti-vivsectionsists. Many of the ideologies of Nazism and Animal Rights movement are the same, ie. moral , political and social elitism. If you researched the subject you would find that the two groups are very closely related.

          • Nanette Valencia

            Interesting, I had no idea. I sincerely hope you’re right about their treatment because the abuse on those videos is heartbreaking

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Thank you for listening. I’ve had to do my share of research to better understand the people who are attacking us. I just posted about the videos. Open your hear and look at the videos, and they are out there, and look at the bond that happens between elephant and men. My family just lost our prized elephant Col Joe to old age. It was devastating. Like losing your dog. Thank you for caring about the animals and believe me, the circus people I know care just as much as you do, honestly we do.

          • Nanette Valencia

            I’m very sorry for your loss I know how much it hurts to say goodbye

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Thank you Nanette. I am sure you have lost a “pet” member of your family and can feel my feelings. That was awfully nice of you to post that and it is appreciated.

          • BerksBound

            You did not provide proof of any of these allegations.

            Nor that any of these people are in any way affiliated with HSUS.

          • loveofcircus

            Proof? How about a conviction in court ? How about making the top ten most wanted? you claimed you received threats I have seen know proof of that.

          • loveofcircus

            In England one animal activist was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a series of bombings.
            Nice people these animal activists and Humane Society supporters.

          • Alexis Kaiser

            LOC – I think I stated in here somewhere that a member of ALF is on the list of the FBI’s most wanted. I’m not going to say all AR’s are bad because that’s what they say about circus. I will say the y are all very misguided. so much so, that they fall so hard into these cults that they believe acts of terrorism are okay. Wayne Pacelle, states, ” I firmly believe there is a place for civil disobedience in our movement – Wayne Pacelle, Unplugged Animals Agenda n.d. Arson, property destruction, burglary and theft are acceptable crimes when used for animal cause.” Alex Pacheco, former chariman PETA. I could go on and on about their terrorist agendas.

          • BerksBound

            Please provide proof this person was a HSUS supporter.

            Oh right, just another thing you fabricated.

          • Alexis Kaiser

            I’was threatened at my show. My show was also the victim of pipe bombs, knife wielding thugs in the animal department, vandalism to our trucks. THE ALF is listed as a terrorist group by the FBI and one of its members is on the ten most wanted list in the USA. yeah, nice, humane people a lot of them

          • The_Truth_Seeker(TM)

            Who have they killed?

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Wow, really? You’re waiting for them to kill someone before you look closely at what these people are about. That is a really ignorant question. Just fyi… the FBI has just added 31 year old American Animal cultists named Daniel Andreas of San Diego to its list of “most wanted terrorists.” He is described as a domestic terrorist and is wanted for role he may have played in the bombings of 2 San Francisco -area office building. The FBI has stressed that it considers Mr San Diego and other extreme animal cultists worhy of bing placed on a list headed by violent extremists like the leaders of Al Qaeda. According to the FBI animal cult extremisms pose a significant domestic terror threat. They have been responsible for more than 1800 criminal acts to date (NY TIMES, 3/2013) and more $110 million in damages. The FBI is investigating approx. 170 animal extremists incidents across the country. And you want to know who they have killed? Surely you jest? Are you looking forward to the day that you can boast this? What a moron.

          • The_Truth_Seeker(TM)

            Who did they kill?

          • BerksBound

            Death threats, bullying, stalking and intimidation from animal abuse apologists are common.

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Wahhhhh!!!!!!!!

          • Gary Payne

            I see – so you don’t feel strongly enough about what you speak to put your name to it. We understand. Sign me: InFavorOfCircus!

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Hey Gary, here we are again. At least we can celebrate the win. It will help to bring to light the scams these AR groups are. This Moran guy is an idiot to buy into the propaganda. Protest Shmotest, this is the level that needs to be reached. Protests really don’t do anything but annoy the circus patrons. No one pays attention an they are forgotten about once people get in the circus. It’s the government level they are operating on now.

          • Gary Payne

            Hello Alexis! Good to see you again. You and I and a couple of animal wrongists who don’t use their names. The animal rights business has lost the court battles and had to pay….whats it up to now?? $25MIL! Now all those animal wrongists tend to use an alias. But some things never change: Per usual -they know it must be so because they saw it on YouTube! Yes – there are still politicians who will take their money to put them on top of the agenda. As with NY for example where the mayor accepted their money and made elimination of the carriage ride horses his #1 priority….and it’s turned around and exposed the truth about the animal “rights” business. Carriage rides are still happening in NY and NOW the “PEOPLE” are better informed and realize the full agenda of the animal rights business.

      • gene clark

        Allow people to decide whether they want to own slaves. Sounds like the good ole USA!

        • loveofcircus

          Earth to the truth seeker and gene clark. Animals aren’t human so they can’t be slaves. I find it very intolerant of you co compare slaves to animals.

          • Gary Payne

            I’d like to compare gene and truth seeker to some other bullies who, during the history of mankind, also attempted to force their whims upon the majority. However, I will not lower myself to the tactics of the animal extremists.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Extremist today – the “norm” tomorrow! I like to always try to be on the forefront of progress, especially when it comes to ethics. I guess not everyone does ;-)

            Guess how it will all be in 100 years from now? Guess how many animals will still be in circuses?

          • Sartria Smith

            **

          • loveofcircus

            So in your mind animals are equal to African Americans and Women. let everyone know the truth about four extremist cult views.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Yeah, it’s called “power” and it always corrupts.

          • The_Truth_Seeker(TM)

            Most of these people were later deemed HERO’S. All the rest – forgotten (just like you will be).

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Slaves were once not considered human, either!! What are you talking about? Whether an animal is “sentient” is for science and society to decide, not something that can be put to a vote. If animals are sentient, then they at least deserve to be treated humanely, not abused, and not forced to do anything they don’t want to do naturally. Animals don’t “ask” to be in the circus, do they? Animals don’t “volunteer” to be in medical experiments, do they? Do they at least get a nice retirement plan, when their “service to people” is over. Slaves didn’t get one in the past and neither do animals today. For being “humans” we sure like to exploit and make other animals suffer, for no good reasons. Actually, there can never be any “good reasons” to cause any creature to suffer. It doesn’t even make sense for “intelligent beings” to do this, when they don’t have to – no one is forcing THEM!

          • loveofcircus

            Did your pet ask to live with you? I always here people advocate neutering of animals, I wonder how many of them chose to be neutered?

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Mine haven’t been neutered, but even if they had, that’s done under anesthesia – unlike what they do to farm animals! Also, they are never “forced” to do anything they don’t want to do and they have a great life (even if they don’t live in the wild, where they would not survive). Domesticated animals live longer than in the wild, don’t have to worry about food, or medicine and, at least in my house, truly enjoy the good life! In fact, they might even have it better than many humans do – they don’t have to work at all – it’s ALL retirement, all the time!!! Oh, to be one of MY dogs!!!

          • loveofcircus

            They didn’t choose to live you. They didn’t choose to be vaccinated, They didn’t choose to be in retirement. You claim that they lead a good life. How do I know that? I have seen pictures of people abusing their pets. You say they aren’t forced to do anything. Can they run out of the house anytime they want? Can they kill other small animals when they want? Can they defecate anywhere they want? Because some people abuse pets nobody should have them. Set them free. You say they don’t have to worry about food or medicine. Neither do circus animals. You say they have a good life I don’t agree I know you are cruel and abusive so I don’t want you to have them. You have no right to have them.

          • BerksBound

            loveofcircus, please look up false equivalency. Because your laughable argument has zero relevance to this issue.

          • loveofcircus

            but the slavery argument is relevant?

          • BerksBound

            Yes, because elephants in the circus are treated like slaves were.

          • loveofcircus

            animals aren’t human they can’t be slaves. But if that is your
            slaves wore chains like dogs. slaves were owned like pets, pets are abused. Free all pets.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Get some help, you are having a mental meltdown (and it isn’t pretty).

          • Nanette Valencia

            How intelligent

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            Yeah, like you would have objected to a circus having slaves 200 years ago (which they probably did)! The Roman circuses sure did 2000 years ago – they were called Gladiators (and many of them were White). So, don’t give me this “well if it’s people, that’s totally different”, crap. It’s all just about power and who has it.

      • Alexis Kaiser

        Absolutely. I don’t want a small group of people to dictate to me what I do for family entertainment. Don’t like animals in the circus, no one is forcing you to go.

    • gene clark

      And if you don’t like slavery, don’t own slaves! These damned do-gooders want everyone not to have slaves!

      • loveofcircus

        Gene do you own a pet?

        • Gary Payne

          I’ll bet “gene” doesn’t answer that question loveofcircus.

      • Gary Payne

        Gene: Do you own a pet? Do you eat meat? Do you ever go fishing?

        • gene clark

          No, no, and no. What else ya got? Not that it makes any difference, since you’ll criticize whether you can find hypocrisy or not.

          • Gary Payne

            I will not criticize you for those decisions gene…they are your decisions and I will not try to convince you to eat meat, own a pet, or go fishing…. But I will ask you to respect the decisions of the majority who might be inclined to eat meat, see a circus, and have a companion animal.

  • Gary Payne

    The circus animals are treated with love and kindness. In over 40 years direct observation (I don’t accept the hearsay and propaganda of animal rights businesses/they’ve just been held accountable for their lies by the courts to the tune of over $25mil!) I trust my own eyes. Circus animals are loved and well cared for. They are fine ambassadors for their cousins in the wild, quickly disappearing. Hopefully the circus, with your support, will succeed in it’s efforts to save the asian elephant from extinction. The animal rights extremists commenting here are entitled to their opinions….I respectfully ask them to respect the opinions of others.

    • gene clark

      No, you wouldn’t accept photo or video evidence, as that is just hearsay and propaganda. Thank goodness for the circuses, whose mission is to save the Asian Elephant from extinction. Good job!

    • Barry Phillips

      You trust your own eyes and not what gene and his keyboard activists tell you?! What a novel concept!

      • Gary Payne

        Thank you Barry! I love your reference to them as the “keyboard activists”. Don’t forget, they’re using fake names. That’s the best part.

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    Even China has banned animals in circuses! The U.S. is behind CHINA when it comes to animal welfare??? How bad and embarrassing is that?

    • loveofcircus

      So you want to be like China?

      • The_Truth_Seeker

        I want to be BETTER than China – always!!!

        • Alexis Kaiser

          Then leave the circus out of it.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            China makes us look worse than them!! How stupid is that?

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Well China kind of owns us, so we probably look stupid to China anyway. Having a circus with elephants is the least of China’s worries or America’s.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            No one will care what you say today within a decade! I prefer to be on the right side of the argument (as often as I can).

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Well something we can agree on, me too! Have a nice day. Glad to know we have something in common.

          • The Truth Seeker 2.0

            Petty stupid. You know what’s more stupid? You making us look worse than China.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            You can’t even come up with your own name and avatar!!! How lazy and stupid is THAT!!?? What a PHONY!!! Hit the road!

          • The Truth Seeker 2.0

            Don’t worry Alexis, The Truth Seeker is qualified to comment on the circus, he’s a clown.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            You can’t even come up with your own name and avatar!!! How lazy and stupid is THAT!!?? What a PHONY!!! Hit the road!**

          • The_Truth_Seeker(TM)

            Deleted by poster

          • Nanette Valencia

            It would be nice to leave the animals out of the circus

          • Alexis Kaiser

            Thanks for your opinion

          • Nanette Valencia

            You’re welcome, Alexis

          • Gary Payne

            You are entitled to do as you wish, but do not force your whim upon the rest of us.

        • The Truth Seeker 2.0

          You’re not.

          • The_Truth_Seeker

            You can’t even come up with your own name and avatar!!! How lazy and stupid is THAT!!?? What a PHONY!!! Hit the road!***

  • gene clark

    I wish I were treated as well as a circus elephant…to get lovingly guided with bull hooks, metal rods, and kicks while I lived in comfort most of the year, riding in rail cars and tied to stakes. Ah, to teach the mass of humanity how important my life and the lives of other elephants are by showing them how smart I am at handstands and following commands. Sigh.

  • The_Truth_Seeker

    Next up … Sea “World”. They should at least rename it to “Sea Tank” for the sake of truth in advertising! “Sea World” should be reserved for the actual ocean!!!

    • The Truth Seeker 2.0

      What do you know about the truth? The truth is far from you. I’m the real deal.

      • The_Truth_Seeker

        You can’t even come up with your own name and avatar!!! How lazy and stupid is THAT!!?? What a PHONY!!! Hit the road!!!!!

  • BerksBound

    Who are you, the gestapo? Why on earth would you have any say how HSUS spends their funds? LOL. I’m betting you don’t donate to a single animal welfare group.

    And no donor money will be used for this settlement. It’s coming from insurance.

    • loveofcircus

      He has as much right to tell the HSUS how to spend their money as Wayne Paccelli has the right to tell Ringling how to spend their $15.75 million.
      Not sure about the insurance money I read where the insurance company denied the claim. Even if insurance covers it who pays for the insurance. Who will pay for the increase in the insurance premium that is guaranteed to sky rocket ?

      • BerksBound

        Honestly, your bad spelling reminds me why HumaneWatch caters to the uneducated and uninformed.

        There are several insurance companies involved, some have already settled, and others are in the process. You probably heard that as gossip from one of your pro-circus cruelty groups.

        • loveofcircus

          spelling is bad but my math is good $15.75 million

        • loveofcircus

          You ridicule someone for suggesting how the HSUS should spend their money but have no problem with Wayne telling Ringling how to use their money Hypocrite. Who pays for the insurance?

    • Gary Payne

      Insurance? You haven’t read the latest headlines. Their insurance won’t cover it. Furthermore, if it WAS paid by insurance, who do you think PAID for the insurance?

      • BerksBound

        LOL, Gary, rumor mongering from pro-circus front groups like HumaneWatch is not “headlines,” nor is it remotely accurate.

        I got the official story from the proverbial horse’s mouth today, so I know my version is accurate.

        • Gary Payne

          FALSE…”horse’s mouth”? Try horses ass.

        • Gary Payne

          More allegations from “BerksBound”….but no NAME on the “horse’s mouth”. Typcial of the animal rights fund raising scammers…LONG on allegations….SHORT on proof.

  • pcuvie

    The judge never stated that the animal abuse claims were frivolous. He made it very clear in he order on fees that “[Ringling] did not win this case based on any findings regarding its treatment of the elephants. Rather, the court never reached that issue because it found that plaintiffs lacked standing to sue.”

    However, anyone who chooses to look at the evidence and testimony presented at trial will see the claims of abuse were proven. Notably after the trial ended, PETA released undercover video of Ringling elephant handler’s beating and whipping the elephants just before taking them into the performance. Shortly thereafter PETA released photos of Ringling’s brutal baby elephant training, given to them by a former Ringling baby elephant trainer, Sam Haddock. These photos were authenticated by Ringling’s head trainer Gary Jacobsen, who testified during the trial. The evidence just keeps coming in showing the abuse that Ringling perpetrates on elephants.

    • Alexis Kaiser

      PETA as a source of viable, truthful information. They kill 2000 adoptable animals a year and say they care about animals. PETA, whose leader compares 6000 broiler chickens killed a year to 6000 jews dying in ovens during the holacast? Yeah, that’s a humane source of information. bahhahaaha In regards to abuse and neglect, it wasn’t an issue because there was not enough evidence to even presume that there was neglect or abuse going on at RBBB. Moreover, the USDA just had an inspection of RBBB in December and they passed with flying colors. The judge deemed this whole case as frivolous and vexatious from the beginning.

      • pcuvie

        I quoted the judge above Alexis and he clearly stated he never reached the issue of animal abuse because the standing issue was not satisfied. So for you to state there was not enough evidence to presume abuse is contrary to the court’s ruling and not based in reality. PETA video recorded Ringling beating and whipping elephants and Ringling acknowledged the video’s content was accurate. For you to deny reality and state that the PETA video doesn’t depict Ringling beating and whipping elephants and that the judge ruled the animal abuse claims were frivolous not only belies the evidence but establishes you are psychotic: “Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality that usually includes: False beliefs about what is taking place.”

        • Alexis Kaiser

          Ths US District Court Ruled the case was frivolous, vexatious and groundless and unreasonable from its inception. (Inception – claiming abuse and neglect of RBBB in their care of elephants) In the original ESA lawsuit, Feld discovered the AR groups and their LAWYERS paid over 190k to Tom Rider to be a “paid plaintiff”. The court also found the AR groups and their LAWYERS “sought to conceal the nature, extent and purpose of the “payments” during the litigation. The AR groups abuse of the judicial system included the issuance of a false statement under oath by Rideer, assisted by his LAWYER, who the Court found was the “same LAWYER who was paying him” to participate in the litigation. The Court found in addition to Rider being a “paid plaintiff” that the lawsuit was “frivolous and vexatious.”
          So, they were all liars and crooks from the beginning, just like your idol – PETA. Most cult members suffer from a form of psychosis, therefore I am sure you are familiar with the disorder.
          PETA has made you believe things that are not true as even proved by a court of law. Shame, but, again, you suffer from a disease, so I shan’t shame you.

          • pcuvie

            If you took any time to actual read the court documents you would know the standing issue was the only issue the judge ruled was frivolous. I provided a direct quote from the judge above, in which he makes CLEAR for everyone that he never reached the issue of animal abuse. The PETA video’s depiction of Ringling beating and whipping elephants is accurate as substantiated by Ringling. That you are actually taking the position that the video does not depict RIngling beating and whipping elephants and that the judge ruled the animal abuse claims were frivolous establishes that you truly are psychotic: “Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality that usually includes: False beliefs about what is taking place.”

          • Alexis Kaiser

            It never reached the issue of animal abuse because there was not enough evidence for a case. Hellloooo!!!!! That you actually believe these YOUTUBE videos establishes that you have fallen prey to a cult. That you have lost your ability to think for yourself. Its a shame that you could be exploited and manipulated because of your own human weakness. You seem to have literally abandoned your whole psychological – intellectual framework.

    • Gary Payne

      I don’t consider, nor do I know many who do consider that four letter word organization to be even slightly credible.

      • pcuvie

        Regardless of your meaningless opinion about PETA Ringling acknowledged PETA’s undercover video depicted their elephant handlers beating and whipping elephants and the USDA pressed charges which Ringling settled for $270,000. That you deny reality to support your position of cruelty to animals is revealing of the foundation of your position.

        • Gary Payne

          The $270k fine has nothing to do with your so called “undercover video”. It paid for fines that accumulated over a period of many years. I know that the circus considered it less expensive to pay the fine than contest the fine, in the same manner as I might chose not to contest a ticket even though I can show that I am not guilty. The courts continued to find IN FAVOR OF CIRCUS, now accumulating to nearly $34MILLION$ paid to the circus by the various animal rights businesses and fund raising scams due to their continued frivolous lawsuits, lies, rackateering and paid witnesses. Also – regarding the fines….I don’t know ANY government agency that does not find it necessary to offset expenses by way of fines. No elephants or any other animals are “beaten” as you suggest. I am often backstage and in other off public areas and I have NEVER (not once!) seen an animal treated as you claim is common. No way. No how. You have seen one propaganda film too many “pcuvie”.

          • pcuvie

            Gary Payne you are as much a liar as Ringling and their spokesperson Stephen Payne. Your statement that you have never seen an animal beaten at Ringling is directly contradicted by Ringling’s own testimony during the trial where they admitted beating the elephants and forcibly taking baby elephants away from their mothers to train them for the circus, which entailed chaining them down by their legs so they couldn’t move and tying them up and beating them to get them to perform circus tricks. When Ringling admitted the abuse it also directly contradicted their standard PR line, but at the time they were under oath and threat of perjury, so lying carried a penalty. You on the other hand are not under oath and threat of perjury so your lying unfortunately does not carry a penalty. Lying is a desperate act and I can tell from your comments you are desperate as even a fool such as yourself can see that the tide is turning against circuses that use animals.

          • Gary Payne

            I am neither a lier nor a name caller. Your statements are false. The courts continue to find in favor of circus. Filing of false reports with the police is illegal which is why you stick with “allegations” versus reports. Crimes must be proven in a court of law. Circus animals are not beaten. That makes no logical sense. But your side fails to use logic. I challenge you to come out from behind your “pcuvie” alias!

  • stillin

    Right now, in northern N.Y MASSENA NY to be exact…the “tickets” for the traveling circus are here…it infuriates me….I feel so for these WILD ANIMALS WHICH SHOULD BE WILD. They should not exist for “ENTERTAINMENT VALUE”….can you imagine if YOU were captured, drugged and dragged around the continent of Africa for the “people’s enjoyment”….Karma on everyone of them is all I can pray for.

    • Gary Payne

      These animals were never wild “stillin”. They were born here and have been in human care. They are as educational as they are entertaining. What circus exactly are you referring to?

      • stillin

        live free or die I say…I stand by my words in the original post.

        Subject: Re: New comment posted on Circus Elephants: Abuse Case Settled, Restrictions Debated

        • Gary Payne

          How am I living “FREE” if you take my freedom of choice (to attend a circus or not) away from me?

        • Gary Payne

          Still no answer from “stillin”….WHAT circus exactly are you referring to?

  • Barry Phillips

    Isn’t this the same congressman who was whining a few weeks ago that he wasn’t getting paid enough? Ya, I’m really going to take him seriously.

  • Alexis Kaiser

    Hard to believe that we vote people into office that are this narrow minded. Also is amazing how we believe people that we vote into office are smart and able to decide what is best for their citizens. This man knows nothing of how animals in the circus are treated except for what he sees and hears from cults. This is evidenced by his statements. He’s been brainwashed. Well kudos to the cults for being able to do this. They are very good at getting to the people who matter. About time we in the circus industry presented the actual facts to our civic leaders. How many civic leaders are invited out and given the VIP treatment to the circus, how much literature is sent to them. These cults spend a lot of time and money to get to people like this guy. I can’t believe anyone is born with a dislike for the circus. I can’t believe children grow up disliking the circus. I can’t believe a mom or dad would not want to take their child to a circus. I do believe these cults have the power to brainwash people against the circus.

  • BerksBound

    There are a lot of pro-circus cruelty trolls on this forum, spouting their typical brand of disinformation. For an in-depth look, and irrefutable evidence of the cruelty inflicted on Ringling’s circus elephants, take a look at this year-long investigation documented by Mother Jones magazine: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2011/10/ringling-bros-elephant-abuse

    • Gary Payne

      O boy – you offer more propaganda! HELLO? Abuse of animals is a crime. Crimes require proof. The courts determine the outcome. The burden of proof is on YOU “BerksBound” (another alias!!!) I know that the circus animals are loved and well cared for. Time and again the courts inform YOUR SIDE that there is no empirical evidence that circus animals are abused. NONE. NADA. 0+0 still equals 0!

  • Nanette Valencia
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