The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to Eliminate Elephant Acts by 2018

Good news today as The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced to the AP that they will start the process of phasing out the show’s existing elephants from its traveling circus and they will be completely free of elephant entertainment acts by 2018! We’re thrilled that after more than a century of exploitation and abuse of elephants by the The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus that some form of freedom is finally on the horizon for these majestic animals. 

It is undeniable that this is a step in the right direction and one that only occurred because of pressure from animal-rights activists and organizations, but it’s important to remember while celebrating this victory, that there is a plethora of wild animals that will continue to be exploited by Ringling Bros. and other circuses across the country.  

Tigers, lions, camels, bears and kangaroos are among the wildlife that will find no reprieve from captivity in the years to come unless real progress is made by banning all animal performances in circus acts.   According to studies, the average circus travels for 48 weeks of the year, and during this time, the animals are all confined to tiny cages, only just big enough to stand and turn around in. 

Statistics show that the average time that the animals are caged for is in excess of 26 hours, and in some cases it was as long as 75 or 100 hours. Along with abusive training methods and malnourishment, the reasons to completely boycott circuses with animal performers are abundant. It’s not entertainment when non-human animals are deprived of their freedom and forced to perform in the circus ring.

The circuses have also said that the elephants will be retired to The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation  within three years, but we would urge the circuses to have the elephants relocated to capable and appropriate sanctuaries instead, where they could live out the remainder of their lives without being used for breeding or research purposes at the conservation center. 

We’re hopeful that this act of phasing out one form of animal abuse inspires a greater movement among the entire circus industry to completely eliminate all forms of animal entertainment in their acts and that this victory inspires new waves of animal activism so that one day all circuses will be 100% animal-free. We ask that you take a moment today to stand up for all forms of animal exploitation that exist within the circus industry and completely boycott circuses until animals are no longer a part of them. 

We also ask that you inform your state legislators about the horrors that exist in the current circus industry and urge them to support legislation that will completely ban animal entertainment in your state.