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News Follows Decades of Investigations and Protests by Last Chance for Animals
LOS ANGELES, CA --(Marketwired - January 11, 2016) - Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has announced plans to end the elephant act 18 months early, retiring the animals in May 2016 instead of in 2018 as previously announced in the spring of 2014.
After more than three decades of undercover investigations and protests by Last Chance for Animals (LCA) and other animal activists, many cities have passed "anti-circus" and "anti-elephant" ordinances, which have made it increasingly more difficult for Ringling Bros. In addition, Los Angeles and Oakland banned the use of bull-hooks by elephant trainers and handlers in April 2015. LCA distributed an online petition signed by thousands of people urging the circus to stop the elephants' suffering ASAP, not in three years.
"These elephants have lived every single day in misery for years," said LCA Founder and President Chris DeRose. "Finally Ringing Bros. realized that elephant torture is bad for their image, and decided to retire the elephants this year instead of in 2018."
As LCA's investigations have revealed, circus elephants suffer immensely. Trainers use electric shocks and bull hooks to force the animals to perform unnatural "tricks" out of fear. The elephants are crammed into boxcars for up to 100 hours straight and kept on the road for 11 months of the year -- in the wild, they roam up to 30 miles a day.
The circus industry has long attempted to hide the cruelty from the public and discredit those who expose the truth. Ringling Bros. went as far as to hire a private investigator to secretly film LCA's President; but the investigator switched sides, and now openly acknowledges Ringling Bros.' cruelty to elephants, as seen in the video here.
Ringling Bros.' decision to retire the elephant act from the circus is a step in the right direction but other animals, such as tigers, camels and horses, continue to suffer at the hands of Ringling Bros.
LCA plans to continue protesting the exploitation of all animals in the circus and keep pushing for legislation that bans the cruel use of animals for entertainment.
Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and public awareness campaigns. Since its formation in 1984, LCA has succeeded as one of the nation's pioneer animal advocacy organizations. LCA's Sam Simon Special Investigations Unit documents abuse in research labs, puppy mills, factory farms, and the entertainment industry, and works with prosecutors to put animal abusers behind bars. For more information, please visit http://www.lcanimal.org.
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