January 20, 2011
Born Free USA Will Not Give Up!
After a decade-long legal battle against Feld Entertainment, owner of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a federal judge ruled at the end of 2009 that animal protection groups, including Born Free USA, would not get a judgment on the merits of the case and dismissed it on procedural grounds.
I am sending you this urgent message to assure you that Born Free USA will not stop the fight to end circus cruelty. We are appealing the judge’s decision and we need your help to try to ensure success!
As you know, we brought this case against the circus under the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits cruel treatment of listed species, including Asian elephants such as those in Ringling’s performances. Tragically, circus workers use cruel bullhooks to “train” their elephants and chain them for hours on end. We believe this is a violation of the law.
We are struggling against a well-funded, multimillion-dollar entertainment empire — Feld Entertainment allegedly has spent more than $20 million to defend its suspect elephant handling methods. But we cannot stop our pursuit of justice for these captive elephants.
We must take this fight forward and never give up in the name of these majestic animals. We must stop, once and for all, Ringling’s indefensible mistreatment of Asian elephants, and help many other elephants who may face the same horrific treatment in other circuses.
Make no mistake, a victory for Born Free USA would surely lead to more humane treatment for other captive animals in entertainment, and I know that you share my desire for compassion to be shown toward all animals.
Together I believe we can make a difference. Together we can win for the elephants and bring an end to their suffering. Thank you for your support and your continued compassion.
Working for the elephants,
P.S. Our website has a wealth of information about the Ringling lawsuit and trial, including complete transcripts. This is a major issue for us and we will not rest until circuses stop abusing elephants.