Ringling Brothers Circus shutting down, animal activists get partial credit

Ringlings Brother's Circus will shut down forever at the end of their Spring 2017 tour.A Ringling's spokesman blamed a substantial decline in ticket sales and high touring costs. He also said the removal of the elephant acts caused a major plunge in ticket sales. The Washington Post gave partial credit to animal rights activists for shutting down Ringlings.

This is a major victory for animal rights actvists. Assuming nothing changes between now and May, activists will have succeeded in shutting down all of an infamous animal abuse industry by forcing an end to just one part of it, the elephant shows. The elephant shows were strategic in that along with the tigers they were routinely featured in Ringling's marketing. In recent years circusgoers have reported seeing tigers beaten onstage and other animal abuse as this circus has deteriorated. The last time they held a public "elephant walk" in DC, trainers were caught in video brandishing bullhooks and the elephants were never publicly paraded through DC streets again. Presumably this Spring's final Ringlings tour (including DC and VA) will include the usual animal rights protests against the still ongoing beatings and torture of animals such as tigers. The elephant acts are gone, but the elephants were just sent back to Ringling's training facility, the "center for elephant conservation." This raises the risk that the elephants and all the other animals may simply be sold to the highest bidders, presumably other circuses.

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