Friday, August 24, 2007

MIDWAY FLASH ... MIDWAY FLASH ... Ringling Elephant Abuse Suit to Proceed

After seven years of legal wrangling, a federal judge in Washington has cleared the way for a consortium of animal rights groups to sue Ringling Bros. for alleged cruel treatment to its elephants.
The show owns 55 pachyderms, of which 34 -- not born in captivity -- were owned by the circus when elephants were added to the Endangered Species Act in 1976.  Says the judge, these animals can not be exempt as are 21 others that were born in captivity.
Once again, a national spotlight will cast potentially unflattering light on the nation's largest and most enduring circus. Sadly, all circuses stand to suffer from the media attention, no matter how wrong the plaintiffs might be.  The AP quotes Tracey Silverman, general counsel of the Animal Welfare Institute, "We look forward to unveiling the curtain at the trial to expose the suffering and death of elephants at the hands of the so-called 'Greatest Show on Earth.'  These magnificent animals will finally have their day in court."
Answers Stephen Payne, a Feld spokesman, "The ruling dramatically narrowed the issues in the suit ... and validates the importance of our breeding program."
More to follow.

Source: Associated Press

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