Quantcast

Circus animals abused

Published October 2, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus enthralls 86-year-old 'kid'" (Tribune, Sept. 21), Tom Wharton recounts how his mother watched people carting them on and off stage and asked whether the animals were happy. It's a reasonable question, asked by many circus-goers. The answer is, no.

At Ringling's training center, baby elephants are ripped away from their mothers and have their spirits broken. They are tied down with rope, shocked with electric prods and gouged with "bullhooks," a weapon that resembles a fireplace poker.

Since 2000, Ringling has been cited and fined for serious violations of federal animal welfare laws, including failing to provide veterinary care and causing physical harm and discomfort to elephants. Just last year, Ringling paid the largest fine in circus history — $270,000 — for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Ringling is only able to stay afloat because its ticket sales revenue outpaces the fines it must pay for violating the law. This perverse and unethical business model ensures that animals will continue to be abused so long as people — many well-meaning animal lovers who don't know what happens behind the scenes — continue to buy tickets.

Jeremy Beckham

Salt Lake City

USER COMMENTS
Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus