Ask President Obama to Order the USDA to Confiscate Lame Elephants
PETA is hot on President Obama’s trail, calling on him, as he travels across the country, to direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to start doing its job properly by confiscating elephants used in circuses such as Ringling Bros. who are forced to perform despite lameness, kept in shackles most of their lives, and cruelly trained and mistreated.
In the circus, physical and psychological abuse of animals is an all-day, everyday occurrence. Handlers embed the sharp ends of bullhooks—devices that resemble a fireplace poker with a sharp steel hook at one end—into the soft tissue behind elephants’ ears and knees and under their chins. The USDA has the ability and the responsibility to seize suffering animals, and yet the agency allows them to travel up to 50 weeks a year in cramped and filthy boxcars and trailers, to be kept tightly chained by two legs (and sometimes all four), and to be beaten for even looking sideways at a trainer. We have evidence of all this on videotape. Even lame elephants and those with foot and nail injuries, such as having stones embedded in their pads, are forced to stand with all their weight pressing on their hind legs and perform tricks that are painful and confusing to them.
PETA’s complaints against Ringling Bros.—persistently filed over several years—regarding beatings and the death of elephants, including one particular baby among several who succumbed during training, resulted in the largest fine in circus history. But while fining Ringling Bros. and then the Cole Bros. Circus is a step in the right direction, it is only the smallest of steps and does nothing to stop the horrors that elephants are enduring at this very moment. The USDA must be directed by the president to use its powers of confiscation and remove from abuse the dozens of elephants who are still suffering in circuses. That’s why PETA is appealing directly to the president.
WHOM TO CONTACT
Please take a minute of your time to weigh in regarding these suffering elephants and push for them to get the retirement they deserve. Please use THIS FORM to urge President Obama to order the USDA to confiscate all ailing animals from Ringling and other circuses now. Suggested text for a letter to President Obama is below.
SUGGESTED LETTER TEXT
PETA’s complaints against Ringling Bros.—filed over a period of years—regarding beatings and the death of elephants and other animals, including one particular baby elephant among several who succumbed during forced training, resulted in the largest fine of a circus in U.S. history. Further complaints filed by PETA regarding two severely underweight elephants traveling with the Cole Bros. Circus who were deprived of proper veterinary care resulted in a $15,000 penalty. But while fining Ringling Bros. and then Cole Bros. is a step in the right direction, it is only a small step and does nothing to stop the horrors that elephants are enduring right now. The USDA must use its powers of confiscation and remove from abuse every ailing elephant. Please direct the USDA to seize all suffering elephants traveling with abusive circuses immediately. Thank you.
we are elephants, gentle, loyal and true.
but we do not wish to perform for you,
we do not want to be beaten, harassed
by misguided humans, with cruelty, demented.
we have had enough and we will let
so how about it, ignorant humans,
to sanctuaries we can go?
Karen Lyons Kalmenson