I have good news. Remember how I posted here about Ringling Bros. horrible treatment of elephants? Well, they are being fined! The USDA fined the company that owns them, Feld Entertainment, $270,000 under the Animal Welfare Act. The act requires humane care, handling, treatment, and transportation of some (but not all) animals, including circus animals. They clearly violated those requirements when they beat them, forced them to perform under extreme pain, and ignored dangerous traveling environments.
Oddly enough, Feld is claiming it did nothing wrong, yet they are paying the fine anyways. They also rejected their opportunity for a hearing. However, they will require yearly training for all of their employees. Better late than never, I guess.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “This settlement sends a direct message to the public and to those who exhibit animals that USDA will take all necessary steps to protect animals regulated under the Animal Welfare Act. The civil penalty and other stipulations in the settlement agreement will promote a better understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all exhibitors in maintaining and caring for animals under their care.”
Well said, Tom.