It flashed across CNN this morning -- jolting me out of my chair as I was slaving heroically over the indexing for my book, Inside the Changing Circus -- a tortuously tedious task taunting my sanity -- a task I do not relish. So, let's take a break, David, I said to myself!
I dug further, and this I struck from the Huffington Post:
"Life's no circus for the Ringling Brothers these days.
The USDA announced Monday that an agreement was reached where Feld Entertainment, Inc., doing business as Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Feld), will pay a $270,000 fine for allegedly violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
According to a USDA press release, Feld also agreed to "develop and implement annual AWA compliance training for all employees who work with and handle animals, including trainers, handlers, attendants and veterinarians starting March 31, 2012, and to establish an AWA compliance position on its staff by February 28, 2012."
End of the Huffington.
Am I surprised? In the wake of that horrible PETA undercover YouTube of Ringling elephants being sadistically slapped around by bull hooks and cursed at, no, I'm not.
And certainly not, considering that, as far as I know, the Felds have yet to explain to us how the film footage was, as they claimed when it hit the web, "misleadingly edited."
Mr. Feld? I still await a few peeps from you on the issue. Your explanation, sir?
Why I am so heated over this? Because this kind of news hurts ALL circuses, that's why.
And Ringling Bros. should lead the way, not down into a dark ages ditch, but up onto a higher more enlightened road.