According to a recent article, Feld Entertainment has decided to phase out the use of elephants in performances by their famous subsidiary, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. For decades, Ringling Bros. has reaped a profit by carting Asian elephants across the United States to perform tricks for paying crowds. Over time, animal welfare advocates and ordinary citizens alike have harbored growing doubts about the quality of life for the majestic, intelligent, and social wild animals used by the circus – leading many to forego the circus altogether. In recent years, the public has also become more aware of Ringling Bros’. use of the bullhook, a weapon-like metal rod equipped with a curved hook at one end designed specifically for use on elephants. Described as a “training tool” by Ringling Bros., the bullhook is used to strike and prod elephants into submission. Many audiences do not consider these practices consistent with the circus’ claim to be “fun for the whole family,” and over the years, many families, venues, and entire cities have turned away from the circus. In response to increasing public awareness, Feld Entertainment has finally made the decision to phase out elephant performers over the next three years. However, Ringling Bros. has not announced plans to retire the company’s tigers, lions, or other exotic animals.
Take Action: Make the commitment to only patronize human-centered entertainment acts. Contact Feld Entertainment to express your support of their decision to retire the company’s performing elephants and urge them to grant similar relief to Ringling Bros.’s other animal performers.
Feld Entertainment Worldwide Headquarters
2001 US Highway 301
Palmetto, FL 34221