Alec Baldwin’s PETA Ad Alleges Elephant Abuse In Circuses (via huffingtonpost)
This title? People still are questioning this?
Payne also recently wrote an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun, defending their treatment of elephants: “All of our animals are trained using a system of repetition and reward. Elephants and horses are transported in custom-built, specially designed railway cars. As a result, the health and vitality of our animals is something we can showcase at each and every Ringling Bros. performance.”
When Jacobson, now the Center for Elephant Conservation’s director, took the stand, he conceded that Ringling’s baby elephants are hit with bullhooks to train them to follow commands. Sullivan twice pressed him to say whether he considered the training practices to be “humane.” Jacobson described them as “better” than they used to be, but under cross-examination he admitted that he conducts the earliest training sessions with baby elephants behind closed doors and never on videotape.
“Why don’t you think—what is it about the training that [the public] wouldn’t understand?”Judge Sullivan interjected.
“Because everything is kind of Born Free based. Everything has to be free and warm and fuzzy and, you know, we handle elephants and then, you know, they handle thousands of them in Asia, and they tie them up and they have bullhooks, you know, but in the modern world it’s just more difficult to explain, Your Honor. It is.”
When CEO Kenneth Feld took the stand, he finally admitted that his trainers and handlers hit elephants with bullhooks as a routine method of control and discipline.
“And you have seen Ringling Bros. employees strike elephants with bullhooks, haven’t you?” Meyer asked him.
“Strike, hit, touch, tap, yes. Whatever the terminology is you’d like to use, yes,” he said.
Feld also acknowledged that employees hooked elephants with the ankuses, whipped, and even shocked them on occasion, but he added that he did not believe any of those practices constituted abuse. And then he got to the bottom line: Without bullhooks and chains, Feld told the judge, the circus couldn’t have elephants. And he had no intention of letting that happen.
“I mean, the symbol of The Greatest Show on Earth is the elephant,” Feld said, “and that’s what we’ve been known for throughout the world for more than 100 years.”
#you guys this literally devastates me #i just love elephants so much #if i showed this to my sister she’d start crying immediately #THEY ARE JUST VERY IMPORTANT TO US OK #because they are the BEST ANIMALS #I WILL BESTOW A KNUCKLE SANDWICH UNTO FELD