Letter: Treatment of elephants distorted
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
The Greatest Show On Earth returned to Portland last week with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Animal rights activists used our return to Portland to once again distort our commitment to animal care. It's time we set the record straight.
Ringling Bros. is proud of its human and animal partnerships, and the physical and behavioral needs of our animals are a top priority. Ringling Bros. also meets or exceeds federal, state, and local animal standards.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducts regular unannounced inspections. Contrary to Ann Radley's Sept. 14 letter, "Circus tactics are barbaric," Ringling Bros. has never been found in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
As a spokesman for the company, I can attest that Ringling Bros. has made a lifetime commitment to the Asian elephant. In 1995, the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation was established to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience this magnificent yet endangered species.
This state-of-the-art facility was designed for the research, reproduction, and retirement of the Asian elephant and enables us to share our elephant husbandry knowledge with the veterinary and conservation organizations around the world. Animal rights groups will no doubt continue to distort the commitment we have for all of our animal performers.