Courtesy of MCT
The fact that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus refers to its latest show as “the most electrifying edition ever,” is highly disturbing considering its recent fine for animal cruelty, specifically for using electric shock to control its elephants.
And the fact that the Ohio Union Activities Board advertised this event and even gave away free tickets in April is even more disturbing.
Shame on you, OUAB.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling Bros., a record $270,000 fine for violating the Animal Welfare Act on several occasions from June 2007 to August 2011, according to a USDA news release.
It turns out that the “Greatest Show on Earth” isn’t so great after all.
According to a report from MSNBC, other inspection reports cited:
-Splintered floors and rusted cages used to contain big cats such as tigers.
-Handlers using the same wheelbarrows to feed meat to tigers and haul away their waste.
The inspectors also found animals were forced to perform when injured, and elephants had their feet chained together when not performing.
Although never admitting to any wrongdoing, Feld Entertainment agreed to pay the fine and agreed to implement “new training protocols.”
Free tickets from OUAB to a production that is historically notorious for poor treatment of its animals is disappointing on many levels, and offensive to a student who pays the activity fee at this university.
If OUAB thought twice about what they endorse through their tweets and Facebook posts, they would have focused less of their efforts on Ringling Bros. and perhaps offered free tickets to Cirque du Soleil, an animal-free production set to perform in early June at the Schottenstein Center.