Animal Rights Collective Blog


Ringling Demo Schedule 2015 by christine

Ringling Bros. Demonstration Schedule for George Mason University

Please join us to protest animal abuse at GMU!

For many years, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus has come to the Patriot Center every spring semester bringing along several species of enslaved animals, including: elephants, llamas, rabbits, tigers, dogs, zebras, horses, and goats. Circus animals spend their entire lives either confined to cages or in chains, traveling eleven months of the year through weather conditions considerably different from their native habitats. In order for animals to perform circus tricks, they are beaten with metal bullhooks, shocked with electrical devices, tied down with ropes, and whipped.

Circus animals are caged, routinely beaten to incentivize their performance of tricks, and suffer both mentally and physically during their captivity. Their performances do not educate children about animals. Rather, it sends a message that animal abuse and dominion is acceptable. As an alternative to Ringling Bros., please support shows with talented, consenting performers; such as Cirque du Soleil and other acts that do not exploit animals.

Ringling Bros. Beats Elephants

Photo of Ringling Bros. trainers abusing a baby elephant by using ropes and bullhooks to force her to preform tricks (image originally published in The Washington Post).

These nonhuman animals are either stolen from their native ecosystems, or they are bred in captivity and removed from their mothers before their first birthday. Despite public relations campaigns that falsely advertise “conservation efforts,” Ringling Bros. has never released a captive-bred animal into the wild. Beyond physical maltreatment, circus animals are deprived of the freedom to roam, access to environmental stimuli, and the ability to engage in instinctual behaviors such as social interaction. In 2011, as a result of dozens of violations under the USDA’s Animal Welfare Act, Ringling’s parent company was ordered to pay the largest settlement against an animal exhibitor, totaling $270,000.

Please join us and lend your  voice to these animals!

Where:
The Patriot Center at George Mason University
4400 University Dr. | Fairfax, Virginia
Meet on Po River Ln., facing “Will-Call”
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Demonstration Schedule:

Wednesday, April 8:  9:00-10:00pm Vigil
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Thursday, April 9:  9:00-10:00pm Vigil
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Friday, April 10:  9:30-10:30pm Vigil
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Saturday, April 11:  5:30-8:30pm Vigil/Protest
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Sunday, April 12:  3:00-6:00pm Vigil/Protest
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Thursday, April 16:  9:00pm Vigil
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Friday, April 17:   9:30pm Vigil
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Saturday, April 18:  1:30-4:30pm
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Sunday, April 19:  3:00-6:00pm

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Details:

All signs and leaflets will be provided. Email nooneisproperty@gmail.com for more information, especially for weather-related changes. These protests are organized by a small collective of individuals, not a major organization. We only do legal protests. If you are uncomfortable at any time, please see Lisa.

For a “vigil,” we hold signs, and candles, offer leaflets, but do not say much unless asked questions. For a “vigil/protest” we start with a vigil for the show letting out and transition to a protest for the next show. For a “protest” we hold signs, hand-out leaflets, and engage in speak-outs and some chanting (you will be given a chant sheet).



Ringling Protests: Check Us Out in Broadside This Week! by christine

Standing Up for Animal Rights

By Monika Joshi / Copy Chief

Protestors hand out pamphlets alleging circus animal abuse Thursday. (Photo by Monika Joshi)

Protestors hand out pamphlets alleging circus animal abuse Thursday. (Photo by Monika Joshi)

The return of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to George Mason University has drawn protests from about 20 animal rights activists, including members of the university’s Animal Rights Collective.

“Pictures don’t lie!” shouted one protestor at Thursday’s demonstration, pointing to a poster of a roped elephant’s legs being pulled in opposite directions by trainers.

The photograph, as well as video footage of elephant and tiger abuse shown later that night, were captured by animal rights organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who say that Ringling Bros. animals are regularly beaten, chained and neglected.

Through the protests, scheduled to coincide with circus performances throughout the week, ARC aims to educate people on the mistreatment of animals in circuses.

The group was officially recognized as a student organization in 2009 and has been leading anti-circus protests every year since.

“Most circus patrons are receptive to our message, and I believe many will reconsider supporting the Ringling Bros.’ cruelty the next time,” said ARC member Jason Von Kundra.

The student group plans to deliver a petition with over 2,000 signatures to the university before the end of the semester, asking that the circus be banned from Mason.

“We are asking that our administration do the right thing by banning animal circuses from campus,” said Von Kundra, a junior earth science major. “We hope to send a strong message that abusing animals is not entertainment and that the Ringling’s ‘Cruelest Show on Earth’ has no place at Mason.”

Barry Geisler, general manager of the Patriot Center, said he sees no reason why the circus should not be allowed on campus, given that it garners high community interest and financial return for the university.

“We’re going to get more people in this week and a half than we get for an entire basketball season,” said Geisler. “So there’s obviously strong community support for the event.”

According to Geisler, the circus animals were inspected by Fairfax County Animal Control on Tuesday and no action was required.

“No one’s ever found any alleged abuse,” Geisler said. “There’s never been any abuse. They get inspected every single year.”

The protestors, however, contend that there is no way to train animals to perform circus tricks without inflicting pain and punishment.

Christine Kauffman, a Mason alumna who helped found ARC, also questioned the value of the inspections conducted at the university.

“Obviously the handlers aren’t going to beat an animal in front of an animal control officer,” she said. “They’re going to do it when no one is watching.”

Following the last performance of each night, protestors hold a candlelight vigil to honor the circus animals.

“[People] may forget about us when they go in,” said ARC member and senior history major Anthony Murray. “But when they leave, it’s the last image they see.”

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Plus, this additional anti-Ringling piece in the Opinion section:

Cruelest show on earth returns

By Justin Lalputan / Opinion Editor

As some of you may already know, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is back at George Mason University. It is advertised as the “Greatest Show on Earth,” however, one thing that it doesn’t advertise is the accusations of animal cruelty that groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals constantly make.

Let me start by saying that I’m not some hippie environmentalist who thinks that we should scrap all our technology and return to being one with Mother Earth.

That’s not me at all. What does bother me, however, is when people abuse animals for purposes of mere entertainment.

That makes me feel sick.

According to PETA, Ringling teaches their animals to do tricks by beating them and putting them through abusive, torturous training.

Elephants are trained to do their tricks through the use of instruments called bullhooks, training tools that, according to PETA, “look like fire pokers.”

One manner in which they train baby elephants is by forcing them into unusual positions (such as forcing them to stand on their high legs on a platform), hitting them all over their bodies with the aforementioned bullhook and then using electric prods.

The impact on the animal’s well-being is intense, and it is not unusual for animals to die or become injured by this type of mistreatment.

Speaking of deaths, in 2004, a lion died of heatstroke as Ringling Bros. crossed the Mojave Desert, and they euthanized an 8-month-old baby elephant which fractured its hind legs doing a stunt that trainers forced it to do.
Since 2000, the United States Department of Agriculture has cited Ringling Bros. for violations including improper handling of dangerous animals, unsanitary feeding practices and causing trauma and physical harm to two elephants.

Obviously information from PETA must always be taken with a grain of salt, but the information from the USDA tells no lies: Ringling Bros. have a history of mistreating its animals.

But what really gets me mad is not only are the Ringling Bros. mistreating animals, they are doing it here at Mason.

Aren’t we the school whose goal is to be environmentally friendly? Aren’t we the ones who generate almost no trash at Southside so that we can protect nature?

Doesn’t it seem a tad bit hypocritical that we are so pro-environment, yet we are directly supporting people who routinely harm animals that live on the same Earth that we are trying to protect?

The sad thing is most people don’t even care.

They don’t care about any of the deaths that I mentioned or the countless more that have occurred. Instead, all they want to do is be entertained.

Fine. They can do whatever they want. But I will not be supporting this circus in any way, shape or form.

They treat animals horribly, and despite this fact, people still go watch their shows and support them.

I’m not asking people to change their lifestyle or become an animal rights activist; I’m asking them to see that the practices of Ringling Bros. are just plain wrong and we should be working for change.

You can say that the circus is coming to Mason, but to me, it feels more like the house of horrors.



Ringling Bros. Circus Protest Outreach by christine

Not in Our Name! Ringling Circus Protest Outreach

Last Saturday, ARC rockers Gabby and Wynne used their creativity to help fight for the animals by painting this cube outside of Southside dining on the GMU Fairfax campus. Ah-mazing work, thanks liberantionistas!

Animals belong in their native habitats, not in the circus!

In order for animals to perform circus tricks, they are beaten with metal bull hooks, shocked with electrical devices, tied down with ropes, and whipped. They are either stolen from their wild habitats, or they are bred in captivity and removed from their mothers before their first birthday. These animals spend their lives in chains and travel eleven months of the year, through weather conditions considerably different from their native habitats.

These animals are caged, routinely beaten to incentivize their performance of tricks, and suffer both mentally and physically during their captivity in the circus. Their performances do not educate children about animals. Rather, it sends a message that animal abuse and dominion is acceptable.

FACTS:

– Ringling was cited in 2010 by the USDA for failure to maintain proper vet care and failure to control animals
– 55 of Ringling’s 63 elephants were poached from the wild
– Ringling boasts 27 elephant DEATHS since 1992!

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Please come and lend your voice to these animals!

Each protest will be about one hour long, signs and leaflets provided. Meet at the West entrance of the Patriot Center.

** PROTEST SCHEDULE (ROUND 1) **
Thurs, April 14 – 6pm / Vigil 9pm
Fri, April 15 – 6:30pm / Vigil 9:30pm
Sat, April 16 – 10:30am, 2:30pm, 6:30pm / Vigil 9:30pm
Sun, April 17 – Noon, 4pm / Vigil 7pm

** PROTEST SCHEDULE (ROUND 2) **
Tues, April 19 – Vigil 9pm
Wed, April 20 – Vigil 9pm
Fri, April 22 – 6:30pm / Vigil 9:30pm
Sat, April 23 – 10:30am, 2:30pm, 6:30pm / Vigil 9:30pm
Sun, April 24 – Noon, 4pm / Vigil 7pm



Ringling Elephants Pose Health Risk by christine
April 12, 2011, 7:01 pm
Filed under: AR News, Local Events | Tags:

TB in elephants called ‘a gray area’

Animal-rights group says elephant with positive TB test is a danger, but circus and government health officials say there is no risk

Elephants participate in the annual pachyderm parade marking the arrival of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to Baltimore March 28. Karen the elephant recently tested positive for tuberculosis, but a follow-up test was negative. (Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore Sun / March 28, 2011)

By Laura Vozzella, The Baltimore Sun

7:59 p.m. EDT, April 6, 2011

An animal-rights group contends that an elephant performing in Baltimore with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus poses a health risk to the public because she has tested positive fortuberculosis, but circus and government health officials say the animal is no threat because she does not have an active form of the infectious disease.

Karen, a 42-year-old Asian elephant, tested positive for TB in a blood test but negative in a follow-up test known as a trunk wash, which involves taking a culture of saline solution run through the animal’s trunk.

The positive blood test was enough to get Karen barred from entering Tennessee with the rest of the circus back in December. But it appears that health officials in that state, where TB was transmitted from another elephant to nine employees at a refuge in 2009, were taking a stricter stance than required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which calls for quarantining elephantsonly if they have an active case of TB.

Elephant-to-human transmission of TB is a very new field of study — that it occurs at all was only officially established in 2009 by aCenters for Disease Control and Prevention study, prompted by the outbreak at the Tennessee refuge — and experts are still trying to determine the best way to deal with the problem, said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and one of the authors of the CDC study.

“This is a large gray area,” Schaffner said, borrowing a line from one of his co-authors, Rendi Murphree, an epidemic intelligence service officer at the CDC and a visiting scholar at Vanderbilt. The USDA is holding a meeting in Kansas City this very week to discuss the matter.

“Could an elephant have a positive MAPIA [blood] test and a negative trunk wash and still be infectious? Is that possible?” Schaffner said. “That’s where the current scientific discussion lies. How reliable is a negative trunk wash test? That is a legitimate area of discussion. There are people that say every elephant with a positive MAPIA should be held back under infection control precautions — quarantined, if you will — and treated. Others say it’s not necessary.”

Even given all the unknowns, Schaffner thinks that there is little risk of a spectator at the circus becoming infected from an elephant.

“If you’re at a circus, you’re at a great distance from the elephants,” he said. “You do not have genuinely prolonged contact with them. You’re there for two hours of the show. That sort of exposure should not put people at risk.”

He added: “I would let my grandchildren attend.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals discovered late last week that Karen had a positive TB blood test and had been barred from Tennessee, in documents it obtained through a government Freedom of Information request, said Delcianna Winders, the group’s director of captive animal law enforcement. Winders said she forwarded the information to Baltimore animal control officials Monday and that someone there initially told her the city would bar the circus from using Karen. Later, Winders said, the city reversed course and said the animal could perform.

The animal-rights group sent an email to The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday morning headlined: “PETA Applauds City of Baltimore for Pulling Ailing Ringling Elephant From Performances.” A few hours later came a follow-up from PETA: “TB-Infected Elephant Put Back Into Circus Ring — Humans Put at Risk.”

City officials said that there was no about-face and that they reached their conclusion after consulting with appropriate state and federal experts.

“There are established USDA standards by which the potential disease risk is assessed, and this particular case does not meet these standards,” the city Health Department said in a prepared statement.  “The decision to allow Karen the elephant to perform at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore City was based on careful consideration of many factors, including veterinary evaluation of the elephant’s health records.  Based on all the information obtained, and in consultation with DHMH, MD Department of Agriculture and the US Dept of Agriculture, Baltimore City HD has determined that Karen the elephant can participate in scheduled performances in Baltimore.”

laura.vozzella@baltsun.com

 



Baby Ringling Elephant Has Deadly Virus, Pulled from Lineup by christine

Ringling Bros. Is Endangering Baby Elephants

by Laura Goldman · February 26, 2011, for Change.org

Ringling Bros. training a baby elephant with bullhooks and ropes

Barack, the first Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephant conceived via artificial insemination, was born to Bonnie, also a circus performer, the night before Inauguration Day in 2009. He was named after the new president. Like his namesake, the last couple of years have been rocky for the elephant.

In February 2010, at barely a year old and the youngest elephant in the circus, Barack was pulled from the performing lineup. He had become infected with the deadly elephant herpes virus (endotheliotropic herpesvirus or EEHV) that has killed several young Asian elephants in U.S. zoos over the past 30 years, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The elephants are usually 7 years of age or younger, and unless treated, they can die within a week after they start showing symptoms of the virus, such as swelling of their heads and necks, their tongues turning blue, and lethargy. Some elephants survive after being given famciclovir, an anti–herpes drug, but the mortality rate is still a staggering 85 percent.

Barack was the second of the circus’ elephants to contract the virus. The first was his father, who survived. Circus officials told the Orlando Sentinel that the two cases were unrelated.

Like his father, Barack survived, and returned to performing last July. But a few weeks ago, exactly a year after he first contracted the virus, Ringling Bros. reported that Barack has become infected yet again.

While there is no cure for the disease, one of the principal causes is a weakened immune system due to factors such as stress. In his young life, Barack has been subjected to the rigors of training, performing and constantly being transported from one town to the next – none of which are natural for an elephant.

Back when Barack was born at Ringling Bros.’ Center for Elephant Conservation (sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?), the circus released a statement by Kenneth Feld, the center’s founder.

“The reality is that the worldwide elephant population is declining, which means the overall mortality rate is increasing and that is a heart-breaking fact,” Feld said. “That is why, at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, practical solutions that help to care for and to save these magnificent animals are critical.”

If Barack survives, the only practical solution to save this magnificent animal is to retire him to a sanctuary so he doesn’t become sick again and add to that increasing mortality rate.

In Defense of Animals, an international animal protection organization, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, charging that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is endangering baby elephants. No elephant, particularly a very sick one, should have to endure the stress of performing.

Sign the petition telling the USDA to intervene with the circus and save the lives of Barack and all performing elephant calves.



In Broadside: Circus Protesters & GMU Police Injustice by christine
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Mon, 04/05/2010 – 12:49 | Broadside News Editor Yasmin Tadjdeh

Circus protesters claim GMU police injustice: Participants inhibited by barricades and police tape

Over the last two weeks, protesters have gathered around the Patriot Center to rally against the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for alleged animal cruelty of their circus animals. However, according to some protesters, George Mason University police have been unfairly targeting them and inhibiting their protests.

Through police barricades and caution tape, protesters claim that the Mason police force has been infringing on their right to protest by keeping them away from the public.

“This year when we arrived on campus, there were metal barricades put in place at the top of the steps that lead down from the corner of Roanoke Road and Po River Lane,” said Lisa Qualls, a protester at the event and a volunteer with the local Washington, D.C. based animal’s rights group, Compassion 4 Animals. “Last year, that had been our main protest spot.”

“We were told that the barricades were placed there because, in the past, children were looking over [their] shoulders at us and could have fallen down the steps,” said Qualls.

“The next time we came back, we were told we had to stay outside of the barricades,” said Qualls.“This made it very difficult to leaflet and it created not just a physical barricade, but a psychological one, too. It gives the illusion that we need to be controlled and that we are not approachable. We have never blocked anyone or been threatening. This barricade seems to be a deliberate attempt to suppress our rights.”

Other protesters at the event felt similarly.

“Throughout the demonstrations, the GMU police erected metal barricades whose aim was to enclose circus protesters,” said Nicholas Zinzer, a protester who was issued a trespassing warning on March 27. “Several protesters went behind the metal barricades and were nearly impotent when attempting to disseminate literature and hold visible signs.”

“I was issued a trespass warning at 10 p.m. that day and it will stand for at least one year,” said Zinzer. “The trespass warning is not justified. I was both peaceful and lawful throughout the protests. The GMU police were both aggressive and partial.”

According to Zinzer, he and a group of activists were preparing to leave the Patriot Center after protesting the circus when several Mason police officers approached them. After surrounding Zinzer, Zinzer said he was detained by Lt. Kevin Barrett and issued a trespass warning; he was then escorted off campus.

However, according to Mason police, the trespass warning was warranted.

“We have a designated area for protests, and he [Zinzer] was not cooperative with those directions,” said Deputy Police Chief George Ginovsky. “He didn’t comply with the directions and he was issued a trespass warning. He was escorted from campus without further incident.”

However, Ginovsky said, “If he feels he was mistreated, he needs to make a complaint and we will thoroughly investigate.”

04/21/2008 – Past Article: “Circus Protestors Protest Police Behavior”



GMU Police Trample First Amendment Rights by christine

George Mason University police violated the First Amendment rights of protesters during the Ringling Brothers Circus demonstrations. The protesters were Mason students, as well as members of the local community.

Before the Ringling Brothers protests last week, several metal barricades were erected by the GMU police. The barricades severely restricted both our movement and our message. The barricades prevented animal rights leafletters from distributing informative pamphlets and ultimately restricted their message and actions. As of this evening, additional barricades further hindered our ability to distribute information.

The erection of the barricades was ridiculous considering our nonviolent and lawful actions. Their placement was meant to demonize us and it demonstrates bias against animal rights protesters.

Our goal during the demonstrations was to educate patrons about the animal abuse that occurs in circuses. We also encouraged circus patrons not to endorse animal circuses in the future.

If obstructing traffic was our goal, then we would have engaged in different tactics. We would not be leafleting and holding signs; but instead, chaining ourselves to the Patriot Center entrances.

We were lawful during these protests and there was no reason for the GMU police to violate our First Amendment rights.

From This:

Protesters clearly NOT blocking traffic.

To This:

Same area (West Entrance), shot facing left instead of right.

This isn’t the first time…

9/29/05 – “We are writing to inform you of a serious violation of civil liberties and blatant racism that occurred on campus today. Tariq Khan, a Pakistani-American student at George Mason, was assaulted and detained by the George Mason police. His crime? Standing 4 feet from the U.S. Marine recruiting table with an 8×11 piece of paper reading, “RECRUITERS TELL LIES” held by tape to his shirt. Tariq, an Air Force veteran, was exercising his right to express his opinion that military recruiters have no business being on a college campus. He was harassed by members of the ROTC – one of whom, a self-described Iraqi war veteran, stated that he couldn’t wait to go back to Iraq to kill more Iraqis.”



ARC in Broadside by christine

Protesters Rally Against Ringling Bros. Circus: Animal Rights Collective Organizes Demonstration

Mon, 03/29/2010 – 12:19 | Broadside News Editor Yasmin Tadjdeh

Mason’s Animal Rights Collective recently organized a demonstration against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a performing group which annually visits the Patriot Center(Gabriella Farrugio)
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For some studentsthe idea of a menagerie of animals coming to George Mason University is not one that settles well with them. Beginning this past Thursday, the Patriot Center hosted The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The circus, which performs annually at Mason, will be here until Sunday, April 4. However, its opening day was met with protests from various local animal rights groups, including Mason’s own Animals Rights Collective.

At the demonstration, protesters gave out literature against the circus and animal cruelty, carried signs that read “Ringling Beats Animals” and wore body television screens, which featured videos from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization.

Michael Dupuy, a junior systems engineering major and member of the ARC said, “By hosting the Ringling Circus, [Mason is] directly supporting animal cruelty.”

According to the ARC’s website, gmu.edu/org/arc, they are “a group dedicated to raising awareness about animal rights on our campus and within the surrounding community. ARC was founded by a group of students that came together to protest the Ringling Brothers Circus on campus and to organize events pertaining to animal rights and vegan outreach . . . Our events will work to cease the suffering and exploitation of animals, and to create a greater sense of community on campus.”

Since 1992, at least 26 Ringling elephants have died, said Dupuy. “They keep their lions and tigers in enclosures that are much too small . . . Ringling brings bull hooks [to the campus], which is what they use to make the elephants perform.”

According to the website, RinglingBeatsAnimals.com, a website created by PETA, “Since 2000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Ringling numerous times for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), such as . . . Improper handling of dangerous animals; Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals, including an elephant with a large swelling on her leg, a camel with bloody wounds and a camel injured on train tracks; Causing trauma, behavioral stress, physical harm and unnecessary discomfort to two elephants who sustained injuries when they ran amok during a performance; Endangering tigers who were nearly baked alive in a boxcar because of poor maintenance of their enclosures; Failure to test elephants for tuberculosis; Unsanitary feeding practices.”

According to a statement on RinglingBrosTrialInfo.com, a website created by Feld Entertainment, Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, on Dec. 30, 2009 a federal court case against Feld Entertainment by the ASPCA and other animal special interest groups that was filed more than nine years ago was dropped.

According to the website, Kenneth Feld, the chief executive of Feld Entertainment said, “‘We are gratified with today’s decision because it is a victory for elephants over those whose radical agenda, if adopted, could lead to the extinction of the species . . . We look forward to focusing on what we do best — providing quality care to our elephants and delivering unique family entertainment options to the public.’”

Dupuy said that in the future, he hopes that Mason would utilize circuses that did not contain animal acts, such as Cirque du Soleil, which is performed completely by humans.



Ringling Brothers Demonstration Schedule for George Mason University by christine

*** Please forward widely ***

Ringling Brothers Demonstration Schedule for George Mason University

This is the protest schedule for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey shows at the George Mason University Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Each protest will be at least one hour long. Signs and leaflets will be provided. Please come and lend your voice to these animals!

When:

Thursday, March 25 – 6:00 pm

Friday, March 26 – 6:30 pm, Vigil 9:30 pm

Saturday, March 27 – 10:30 am, 2:30 pm, 6:30 pm, Vigil 9:30 pm

Sunday, March 28 – 12:00 pm, 4:00 pm, Vigil 7:00 pm

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Friday, April 2 – 6:30 pm, Vigil 9:30 pm

Saturday, April 3 – 10:30 am, 2:30 pm, 6:30 pm, Vigil 9:30 pm

Sunday, April 4 – 12:00 pm, 4:00 pm, Vigil 7:00 pm

Where:

Meet at the corner of Braddock Road and Roanoke River Road in Fairfax, Va. We will then move to the west entrance of the Patriot Center.

Public Transportation:

Take the Metro Orange Line to Vienna/Fairfax. Then take the CUE Bus (Gold 1, 2 or Green 1, 2) to GMU. Once you arrive at GMU, walk south to the west entrance of the Patriot Center. In other words, once you arrive at the bus stop at GMU, follow Patriot Circle until you find the west entrance to the Patriot Center. You will reach the Patriot Center regardless of the direction you travel on Patriot Circle. The protest will at the west entrance of the Patriot Center. If you are early, we might be at the intersection of Braddock Road and Roanoke River Road. That area is south and near the west entrance of the Patriot Center.

George Mason University is located at 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030.

Why:

Animals belong in their native habitats, not in the circus. Numerous circuses use animals such as elephants, tigers, horses, and zebras. These animals are caged, routinely beaten to incentivize their performance of tricks, and suffer both mentally and physically during their captivity in the circus. The only reason animals are used in circuses is for profit. Their captivity does not educate children about animals. Rather, it sends a message that animal abuse and captivity is acceptable.

In order for animals to perform circus tricks, they are beaten with metal bull hooks, shocked with electrical devices, tied down with ropes, and whipped. They are either stolen from their natural habitat in the wild, or they are bred in captivity and removed from their mothers before their first birthday.

These animals spend their lives in chains and travel eleven months of the year, through weather conditions considerably different from their native habitats. The remaining month is spent in a facility where the animals receive some of the most brutal training, out of the view of the public.

A lifetime spent on concrete or idling in tights cells, results in numerous physical and psychological ailments, such as osteoarthritis, tuberculosis, poor caging and housing conditions, and/or insanity. These health issues frequently lead to the premature deaths of the animals through euthanasia, long before they would have reached their natural lifespan.

Visit our Circus page for more information about the wrongs or captivity and cruelty for entertainment.

Ignore the Truth No Longer:

Watch these videos and learn more about the standard practices Ringling employs to force animals to preform tricks for the entertainment of humans.

Keep Us Free

More Information:

Circuses.com

HelpElephants.com




Animals Fighting for Freedom: Slave Rebellions by christine

Captive Whale Kills SeaWorld Trainer

February 25th

On Wednesday afternoon a trainer at SeaWorld Orlando was killed by an orca named Tilikum (also known as Telly). The 12,000 pound male orca pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau underwater by her ponytail during a live performance.

Due to his enormous size and abundance of testosterone Telly is often kept isolated from the other orcas at SeaWorld, deprived of the constant social contact that killer whales have in the wild. In addition to forced isolation, whales in captivity are deprived of their natural instincts, crammed into tiny concrete tanks devoid of sea life or the stimulation necessary to nourish their intelligence. Such conditions can cause stress, erratic behavior, and insanity. This is the third trainer that Tilikum has killed in 19 years.

As Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society commented yesterday:

“I can’t really blame Tilikum. If I was taken from the ocean and plopped into a concrete prison cell for four decades I would be inclined to get a mite angry also.

No reasonable person would walk unescorted across the exercise yard of a maximum-security prison, and it is irresponsible to expect a frail human being to turn his or her back on a stressed-out, angry, captive orca – the most formidable predator on the planet.

By the way, I’ve met Tilikum. Way back in the 80’s, I toured SeaLand of the Pacific as a special guest of Bob Wright, the owner of the facility. He wanted me to see first hand what his business was all about. I sat by the pool and patted the big Orca on the head. I also put my hand in his mouth and put my palm on his tongue so he could taste that I was not afraid of him. I remember looking into the left eye of that magnificent predator, and what I saw there was resignation and sadness. He was not a happy whale.

I knew then as I know now that Tilikum should not be, and does not belong in a swimming pool.

I think that Sea World has only one honorable option. They should return Tilikum to his home in the sea. His pod can be identified and Sea World has the funds, the skills, and the technology to do the right thing both for the Orca and for the interest of humanity.

If Sea World does not return Tilikum to the sea then the next time a human being dies as a victim to an angry, frustrated, stressed, and possibly insane Orca, it will not be simply another tragedy: it will be willful negligence!”

Telly’s life will be spared, for the time being, as SeaWorld executives determine what to do with him. They continue to imprison Telly – endangering both human and animal life – because he is profitable to their enterprise, having fathered 13 calves and by bringing in audiences.

Urge SeaWorld to release their imprisoned animals!

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Terrified Zebra Escapes Ringling’s Circus in Atlanta

February 19th

A zebra, captive of the Ringling Bros. Circus, escaped from her prisoners and ran around Atlanta, Georgia, for 40 minutes. Lima, a twelve year old zebra, was galloping along a busy interstate during rush hour traffic. She was eventually cornered by police officers on motorcycles and returned to her captors.

Lima also escaped from 1st Mariner Arena in downtown Baltimore, Maryland in 2008, accompanied by two other zebras, together they dashed into traffic. In 2007, the same three zebras escaped while in Colorado. This comes as no surprise since there are numerous cases of animals escaping the evil clutches of the Ringling Bros. Circus.

For an extensive list of Ringling’s offenses and casualties, check out the Ringling Factsheet.