Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to Finally End Use of Elephants

Image via Passport

Image via Passport

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will finally phase out the use of elephants during its shows by 2018. While the elephants have played an iconic role in “The Greatest Show on Earth” since its inception in 1909, growing concern about the safety and treatment of the elephants has cast a negative shadow over their use for entertainment purposes. Some states have even passed laws prohibiting the use of elephants in circuses for entertainment. “There’s been somewhat of a mood shift among our consumers,” said Alana Feld, the company’s executive vice president. “A lot of people aren’t comfortable with us touring with our elephants.”

“For 35 years PETA has protested Ringling Bros.’ cruelty to elephants,” Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wrote in a statement. “We know extreme abuse to these majestic animals occurs every single day, so if Ringling is really telling the truth about ending this horror, it will be a day to pop the champagne corks, and rejoice.”

Only 13 elephants will tour with the company through 2018, while the other 30 will remain at the company’s 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. [WSJ]


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