File photo of Ringling Bros. elephants. These animals were not featured in the video we aired. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has released a video that it says shows abuse of circus elephants by the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
The video shows animal handlers using a sharp metal object known as a bullhook to strike the elephants across the head, legs and body. In one part - a trainer curses at an elephant and then strikes the animal… telling it to "back up."
PETA says the video was shot by an undercover member who posed as a stagehand and worked for the circus for six months.
He said the circus elephants and tigers are regularly put through this kind of cruelty. The animal rights group says it has filed a complaint with the Agriculture Department under the Animal Welfare Act.
The circus denies the abuse claims and says it's looking into the validity of the video. They say they were in compliance with federal, state and local laws - and were inspected 10 times during the period that PETA claims the video was taken. The company says it loves its elephants and is proud of its efforts to care for and increase the endangered Asian elephant population.
But this isn't the first time Ringling Brothers has come under fire for allegedly mistreating animals. A 2000 case is set to be decided in federal court this month.
Here’s my question to you: Should the use of wild animals in circuses be outlawed?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Eric from Kirtland, Ohio writes:
I am not an animal activist, but I am a father who strives to raise my children the right way. I never take my kids to the circus, and when they beg me to go, I take the time to explain to them that there's never a good reason to be cruel to an animal. When I see an elephant, one of Earth's most majestic creatures, standing with all four feet on a small stool, I am deeply troubled. Any logical person knows that they're looking at an animal that has been tortured repeatedly to perform such a trick.
I've only been to one circus where the wild animals rode bikes and jumped through hoops of fire. The animals looked thin and their coats were unhealthy. It was pathetic, sad and not entertaining. My children only had empathy for them. After the experience, I have refused to see or support any of these circuses.
I don't think they should be outlawed. They should be monitored to ensure the animals are not being abused.
Susan from Tuscaloosa, Alabama writes:
Any suspicion of animal abuse should require immediate suspension of the use of such animals until the accusation is thoroughly investigated. Animals cannot speak up on their own behalf and there is no corner of Hell hot enough for anyone who would abuse, neglect, or injure them. They have no voice but ours. We must demand that they are properly cared for.
In these times, when saving the planet and all the endangered species is of such importance, why would it be necessary for the continued cruel and degrading treatment of the animal kingdom's most threatened citizens? Ringling Bros. needs to respect them, not use them for profit. Hire more clowns.
Yes circus animals and zoo animals should be freed where they can enjoy the wild life they were meant for.
Yes. Simple inspections do nothing to control abuse. And the wild animals need a home with dirt, grasses, and trees.
Hate to say it but the elephants at Ringling are probably treated better than all the elephants in Africa. Maybe PETA should spend it's energies going after the poachers in Africa?
Why not? They're used in the political arena, Jack.
were the ten inspections done were done by no pre-scheduled appointments?
No, at least these animals are fed and are protected against the NRA and their band of big game hunters. What a challenge to take a cannon and go kill an elephant just for the sake of saying I killed an elephant.
I think we need to leave the circus alone! Children have been learning and laughing for many years due to the circus. Hannibal used wild animals for war, similar to many nations since! LEAVE THE CIRCUS ALONE!
Wild animals belong is the wild or in protected sanctuaries.
The (ab)use of these magnificant animals for our entertainment is simply barbaric.
No, just have the President appoint an animal Czar to control them..
Yes, Jack...if you want to see an elephant...go to Africa, where it is in its own habitat.
The circuses in Washington and Alaska seem to be doing just fine without misusing elephants and tigers, so I see no reason why it should be legal for the any of the other circus shows to have them.
Jack, It's still very disappointing to see these kind of things still going on it is not worth the trade for these animals to perform if the cost is torture and I hate to see animals or any creature tortured no matter the benefit to anything we could gain from it
yes wild animals belong in the wild.
An unequivocal YES!
WIld animals are part of the reason lots of people come to circuses. I don't think they should be outlawed but instead be trained better, and if they can't be trained, THEN don't use them. There should be a central training facility where circuses get their animals trained, but beyond that I think it's fine for animals to be in the show.
Yes and 100 times yes, our family has never gone to a circus and has never allowed our children to patronize a circus. My uncle worked for the circus for many years and he always told us the treatment of animals was horrendous! I hope and pray they outlaw it!
yes outlaw the use of wild animals/any animals for use in the circus.
as far as I'm concerned, wild animals should be left in their natural habitat!
YES! Wild animals should not be kept in captivity and trained to perform for humans.
Of COURSE it should be outlawed! It should have been outlawed decades ago. If the Ringling Brothers were so interested in protecting the Asian Elephant, why do they employ the lowest common denominator, armed with bullhooks, to "care" for them?
Outlawed? No. There needs to be quality oversight to make sure this does not happen, and the circus must fire the handlers in this video and they should be prosecuted. There is no reason why these animals cannot be treated humanely.
Peter, Brooklyn, NY
I feel that while there may or may not be abuse in the circus I fear I didn't actually get to see the guy in the video. See you said "What the guy in the bottom right of your screen." Thing is CNN's ego is so big there's a big CNN Caferty File logo there that made me not see anything on the video. I'm tired of those little logos on everybody's TV stations. Do we really need to know 24/7 that we're watching CNN? You tell us enough anyway.
The use of wild animals or ANY animals for entertainment should be outlawed.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are not as they advertise themselves. Any so-called evidence they produce is highly suspect. If people knew the truth about them, people would stop funding them and their support of terrorist groups. Trained animals are as much a part of circuses as clowns and no one wants them banned.
Is it really that entertaining to watch animals that have been beaten into submission? I don't know how that can be associated with a joyful circus experience.
Yes, certainly. Wild animals have been documented being abused by circus trainers et al. Wild animals should not be caged, beaten or abused in anyway for human entertainment.
The use of wild animals should be outlawed Jack. Those animals should be educated first so they can stand up for their rights. This way they will no longer be wild. Think about it Jack. Man is an animal and we used to be wild. While we may still be stupid, at least we are no longer wild.
Yes, they should. These so called animal friendly circuses should completely be banned. I don't attend circuses because I know they abuse animals and I would never spend my hard earned money supporting animal abuse of any kind. Lock the door on all circuses and throw away the keys!
Circuses should be outlawed! They exploit both animals and people.
PETA, isnt that the smae group that was up in arms about the President killing a fly? We have big boy & girl problems that we need to address in this country and in this world, and this IS NOT ONE OF THEM!!!!!!
Outlaw the use of animals for entertainment in circuses. Zoos aren't great either but at least in zoos there are veterinarians and zoologists. Circuses are disgraceful and strip animals of their dignity and send young children the wrong message about respect for life.
It should absoltely be outlawed. Or I suppose we could just stay cavemen forever. Sigh
I think the human care takers be taken out od the circus. Animals can't be punished like that............they're animals and don't need to be hit. The humans do though.
it always amazes me when people deny doing such things and yet there is a video to prove it!! Absolutely the use of wild animals (or all animals for that matter) shoule be outlawed from the circuses. These people make me sick.
Yes – it should be outlawed. Making animals perform for human amusement is barbaric. It is not part of their natural behavior to do "tricks" . Circus abuse is widely known.
YES! 100% should be outlawed. W
Yes and be replaced by the members of Congress
This is outrageous!! What do children learn about wild animals by going to the circus? They run around in their habitats in shiny outfits dancing and performing tricks all day? I can't believe in this country that they have not abolished this by now. I am proud to say I have never taken my children or grandchildren to a circus and have always educated them on respecting animals!!
Let's eliminate them from the circus. Let's eliminate them from zoos.
Let's eliminate them from wild animal parks that charge admission.
Let's eliminate them from pet stores (used by the circus magicians).
And finally, why didn't they eliminate them from Noah's Ark so we would not be in this predicament today.
No. PETA should be outlawed.
Yes. I say just use cats and dogs, then use wild animals for like a mobile zoo for people to see, or do kiddie rides on camels, elephants, and horses or ponies. Then swap out from on loan some of those animals to nice zoos that have great facilities, kinda like a 3 month stint with the circus, but not to "Perform"
Ringling Brothers has been handling animals a lot longer than PETA has been trying to find ways to "stay in the news," and should be given credit for taking care of their animals. PETA has to make noise from time to time in order to be nemtioned on CNN.....
Yes I think this should be outlawed. I wish people who does that to animals would get the same treatment for one week so they know how it feels.
These animals belong in the wild and not for entertainment purposes. No animal wild or domestic should be subjected to cruelty. Cameras don't lie.
The circus can exist without the wild animals. Therer is still a lot of talent to amuse the crowds. I never liked the wild anuimals in that close proximity to me anyway but always enjoyed the acrobats and clowns. Domstic animals like trained dogs and horses are fine, if they are treated properly. It's time for that phase of showbiz to pass into history.
Elephants in the circus are just the surface problem. How elephants are caught in the wild, torn from their families, beaten into submission, transported long distances, etc., are also part of the wild-animals-for-entertainment story. There are the conditions the animals then live in at the hands of a for-profit business, the miles they travel on display, the so-called training techniques for the performances they make. But who's to blame? The audience. With every ticket they buy, they make the death and cruelty behind the scenes of circuses, zoos, and aquariums possible.
I believe that if they are going to use animals in circuses, there need to be really strict rules on treatment because I'm a member of PETA and I've seen the video a couple of times now and it just disgusts me that people can do that to animals! I don't like that they use wild animals but until someone does something, they will. So yes, outlaw it or make anti-cruelty laws protecting the animals.
-Megan, Spencerport, NY
Absolutely! This is an outmoded 19th century practice that has no place in the 21st century. If Ringling Brothers really wants to care for and increase the population of endangered species it should focus less on entertainment and more on education and the protection of habitat.
Yes. The use of wild animals in circuses should be outlawed. These magnificent creatures were created by God and deserve to live their lives as he intended.
STEVE. MERCED, CALIFORNIA.
Absolutely. It's barbaric and cruel.
YES. I have stopped going to the circus because of animal abuse. Instead, I opt to enjoy the Cirque de Soleil shows. Now that's the greatest show on earth.
Disgusting. This is the outcome of Religious views of animals being 'lesser' than people, even if we were better than animals shouldn't we use our reason and logic to treat other beings of this planet with dignity and respect?
Yes. The only way you can train them is by cruelty or rewards. It is sad, but there comes a time to take them away from such bad things.
handelers should be put in the cell that vick vacated. Animals should be set free and not be replaced.....
Yes, of course, these wild animals are meant to be in the wild or at least in a large zoo, not in a circus performing ridiculous tricks. It is also dangerous for these animals to be in the circus with the public .There is a reason why they're called wild animals.
Absolutely. This is a barbaric practice!!
Please return the animals to their natural habitat.
this should never happen. Elephants especially. I hope that elephant has the chance to be alone with that guy. They have very good memories right! That is why I take my children to Cirque Du Soleil.
YES! 100%. This needs to be stopped and banned immediately. We need to take action and regognize what is really happening behind closed doors to these animals.
Yes! In addition to abuse potential, there have been many incidents where animals have reverted to their wild genes and have hurt people. In days of yore, Circuses also used to display disfigured humans (Elephant Man?).......It's time for them to get with social mores. PETA howver has low credibility as they complain about anything............if we drink milk PETA will complain its cruel to milk the cow........
I too was upset to see the treatment the elephants received in the video. The best circuses like Cirque du Soleil, do not use animals. The practice of using animals in shows is a form of slavery which the animials used have no say whatsoever.
I vote a resounding NO to the use of animals in circuses.
Good luck in this. Many North Americans feel the same way I do.
Yes, all animals, endangered or not, should not be used for human entertainment. We must understand as a society that these are sentient beings capable of feeling pain, embarrasment, and other such emotions and should be treated with dignity. These kinds of shows not only harm animals but also put human lives at risk as animal behavior is highly unpredictable.
I will not deny that I cannot stand PETA. They are antihumanist and are radicals who on multiple occasions act criminally. However, exotic animals such as tigers and elephants should not be used for human entertainment. This is outdated and animals should not be trained to to perform tricks, this is unnatural and goes against nature.
Wild animals should absolutely and definitely NOT be used in circuses. There is too much potential for abuse. I do not go to circuses anymore because of it. I would however go to a circuse where all the performers were human.
No, they should not be used in circuses, and neither should domesticated animals. "Training" animals requires discipline. Ringling Bros. contention that they are "increasing the elephant population" is a crock. If they're so interested in increasing the elephant population, they should be working with animal preserves in Africa and not parading helpless animals around the country.
We have learned enough abut elephant society to know that elephants have no place in this type of captivity. It's time for the practice of attending the circus as live entertainment to slip into the past.
I feel that since as a society we seem to think it is OK to display animals in a circus. It might be time to put some humans on display also. I am sure we can find some unusual specimens
I am absolutely outraged at the treatment these poor animals receive. NO animals -dogs, elephants, tigers should be part of the circus! Take your kids to the movie EARTH to see how animals should live or buy a ticket to Cirque de Soleil – they offer an amazing show with no animals. This abuse has to stop NOW!
I have disliked the circus for this very reason. There is something tragic about dogs dressed in tutus and jumping through hoops of fire, elephants made to balance on a ball, and the big cats teased and taunted to make their "trainers" look heroic. These are not natural acts for these animals and we should be ashamed of ourselves for thinking that this is "The Greatest Show on Earth".
No, wild animals should not be used in circuses. Unfortunately there is no perfect way to regulate the handlers. Wild animals should be allowed to live their lives as close to natural as possible, and with the least human interaction. Bored and unhappy animals, living in the care of humans is NOT entertaining. It is cruel.
No, trainers should be trained better and monitored not set up by Peta... they should be called pests. After their stunt with killing of the fly by the president... and how they addressed it, I lost all respect for them. I guess we should capture and release all insects, including cock roaches and release them at a Peta members house...
Only if the animals being used have health insurance.
Absolutely it should be outlawed. Elephants live in societies where they share childcare and mourn their dead. Any civilized society would not parade these wonderful animals and train them to perform unnatural acts for our own amusement. Which begs the question: which society is more civilized the elephants or us humans?
It is DISGUSTING that Human Beings need to go to a circus and watch these poor animals perform. Like they have NOTHING else to amuse themselves with? These are WILD ANIMALS and I say LET THEM BE and STOP CATCHING them and making their lives a misery. Elephants are renowned for their intelligence and what these people are doing is ABUSE.
absolutely. Animals should never be used for entertainment purposes.
Jack this has been going on for years and this lousy congress does nothing to stop it. Yes, all animals should be out-lawed from any circus, zoo, etc.. You want to see these animals, go the enviornment they live in. People are cruel enough, without having to subject an animal that has no defense against us..
My heart goes out to any animal that is used for display, etc..
Absolutely. It's disgusting. It enriches the scum doing it, and is cruel ALWAYS, by its very nature, to the animals because it forces them to do things which are unnatural. Ringling Bros. is one of the worst offenders, but small circuses and zoos are often worse. The "trainers" at Ringling should be fired. The elephants should be sent to a sanctuary, and the gaping, idiotic crowds should either watch the acrobats and clowns or go without the revolting spectacle of a "circus", which was a bad idea to begin with.
why do we even need as human beings to be impressed by capturing wild animals!
YES! YES! YES! The use of wild animals in the circus should absolutely be outlawed. For animals to be used in this way for the entertainment of people is cruel and unatural. Elephants are bright and sensitive animals. The circus says they love their animals .. yeah, right ! If that's love, I certainly could do without it. And they wonder why these poor animals at one point or another go completely insane.. wouldn't you after treatment like that??!! Get animals OUT of circuses!!!
Dear Jack: Thanks for bringing this subject to the forefront with this question. A very resounding and loud YES! Animals were not put on this earth to entertain people! Free all circus animals. I boycott any circus that has animal acts. Thank you Cirque de Soleil for being so entertaining and for not using animals in your acts!
Mike from Sherman TX. The greatest show on earth is a part of American history Jack the thugs that are abusing these animales need to be fired but please dont take away one of our national icons because of a few idiots the show must go on .
Technical point of clarification: By definition, trained circus elephants are not "wild."
That said, I do think it should be illegal for circuses to use exotic animals. If people want to pay to see elephants and tigers, they should just go to the zoo....
Yes it should be. These animals aren't designed for perfornance. They should be put in wildlife reserves for the rest of their lives since returning them to the wild isn't an option.
Yes, Jack, absolutely! If for no other reason than that it's completely unecessary. I've been to Circue Du Soleil, and found it thoroughly entertaining with some amazing, talented and yes, willing and paid performers... and not an animal in sight!
Absolutely. I could barely stomach watching the horrid cruelty those innocent elephants endured, and I'm sure this animal cruelty is more prevalent than we would like to know. Shut those circuses down and I applaud anyone or any group that brings any form of animal neglect and animal cruelty to light.
Certainly. All wild animals, especially the large ones, are by definition greatly abused when taken out of their environment. Despite claims such as advancement of knowledge they are used for only one unworthy purpose: corporate profit. Parents should be ashamed of dragging their kids to circuses for such "entertainment".
They should be barred from the explotation of animals. Zoos educate the public about wild animals and in a manner the shows the animals more respect and allows them more of their dignity.
Yes, all animals in circuses should be outlawed. Ringling Brothers has been abusing their animals for decades now. It's archaic, barbaric and time for elephants, tigers and all animals to be returned to their natural habitat. We are all God's creatures and as the supposed superior being, it is our job to make sure the animals are taken care of and protected. ENOUGH of RB's lying and pathetic sickness. Cindy
Yes, the use of wild animals as performers should be outlawed...
NO. Wild animals should not be used for our entertainment. I don't go to the circus for that very reason. Maybe if we all boycotted the circus we could end the abuse!
Yes. The usage of animals for human entertainment has run its course. We should focus solely on ensuring the health and strength of animal species while not using them for our own purposes. Animals and humans enhabit the Earth together and while we attempt to respect fellow humans, we should do the same for our animal counterparts – who lack the ability to speak for themselves. How can we continue to throw the Earth's most innocent into this outdated tradition?
I do not believe that circuses should outlaw the use of wild animals as long as the circuses behind the scenes are following a code of conduct that represents humane treatment. Wild animals offer a wide range of interests to all people young and old alike. I can remember attending many when I was younger, but it is heartbreaking to find out about a story of alleged abuse of these animals. They can be here for our enjoyment, but still be treated kindly. However remember they are WILD ANIMALS, therefore the mindset is not to be caged up all day everyday, but I promise if we don't treat them with respect then we are no different from them.
YES it should be outlawed, the fact that people these days even take there children to see Animals caged and living in cages is a sad thought.
Circus and Zoo's should be banned, YES we did it as children but back then we had no clue animals had emotions.
we do this to a human its called torture but doing it to an animal is called entertainment
ONLY in America!!
San Francisco Ca
Yes, wild animal acts should be outlawed. Even the least-abused animals are forced to lead a miserable, unnatural, undignified "life" for the profit of their captors.
Dan Kelly, Buffalo NY
Thank you so much Jack. NO animals should be allowed in circuses- none, domestic or wild. Elephants in the wild do not wear skirts and stand on their front or hind legs for entertainment. Tigers don't jump through flaming hoops. All circus animals suffer horrible lives.Transport, training (beating) and forced solitude.
Use human animals, they have a choice to say no.
Animals should not be used for circus entertainment. There is far better entertainment seeing Cirque Du Soleil and the only animals there are humans. In fact humans are much better performers than elephants, tigers and any other animal.
Absolutely! No wild animal should be forced to perform tricks for the monetary gain or entertainment of humans, It's unnatural and inhumane.
When they're not in the ring they are chained by the ankle with no room to move around and become neurotic over time. The tigers and bears live in cramped cages ... again, it is unnatural and inhumane!
Absolutely! These animals are meant to be in the wild. Not tortured with whips, chains, hooks, or electric prods, all for a few moments of "entertainment."
No, Peta should be outlawed!
I'm shouting, "YES", as loud as I can ... can you hear me now?!
YES! YES! YES! I truly never understood how people can get away with this. This isn't the first time this has happend! Like most people, i love animals as well, but why are we still using them for our amusement? How would we feel if that was a human on the video tape? You can believe we wouldn't be having this conversation Jack... I'm glad you brought attention to this! THIS IS REAL NEWS!
Absolutely. How appalling that these elephants were abused in this way. But even more appalling – the spectators that continue buying tickets that keep Ringling Bros in business.
Wild or domestic animals should be banned from circuses. This latest video shows the torture animals have to endure. Why not follow the example of Europe where no animals appear. The sooner we take these animals away from Ringling the better and let them spend their remaining days in an animal sanctuary. I, for one would never support the circus and I encourage others to boycott them.
Thank you, Peta for once again exposing this cruelty.
Animals should not be used for our amusement, especially when humans cannot be trusted to care for them in a "humane" way. Why do we even have that word, what part of humanity is "humane" to either animal or either even other humans. Perhaps we should just dress humands in furry costumes and put them in cages for others amusements, who would be able to tell the difference? Probably no one.
Yes, the use of wild animals in circuses should be outlawed. It is not their natural environment, where they can roam free. When wild animals are treated in these ways, we are promoting torture of other living things, and leads to a society that accepts this type of behavior as commonplace. Where do we draw the line? That fuzzy area is a real danger.
Jack, My sister in-law is " Card carring member of PETA" I've mentioned to her at various times that these animals have 3 hots and a cot,albeit a bale of hay. It seems to me a better life style than waiting to killed by someone just for there tusks?
Jack Wild aninals should be use in circus but should trea t animals humane maner. If found guilty trainers should be fined and fired,
By all means wild animals in circuses should be outlawed.
Yes. Wild animals should not be held captive and forced to perform in circuses. They should not be caged for long periods and they should never be abused. This is not the first time the circus has been accused of abuse. How we treat animals is a measure of our civlitiy as a people, as a nation. Animals need to be protected and cared for.
Washington, DC area
The use of wild animals in circuses should definitely not be outlawed. That is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater and it is an extreme position in my opinion.
But it would be a good idea for circus and zoo animals to get regular and random check-ups from an objective state or city animal doctor which is a fair and reasonable position in my opinion.
Thank you for bringing up this important issue. I am appalled that wild animals continue to be used and abused for our national entertainment. I refuse to take my daughter to any circus that includes such animals. Elephants in particular are highly intelligent, social creatures who should be treated with respect and not exploited.
I don't belong to PETA, but I do donate to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphange. Like all animals, elephants would never thrive in this abusive
circus life. My heart hurts for them!!
Absolutely. You can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats animals. Humanity as a whole can only benefit by the humane treatment of animals, wild or domestic.
I am not an animal activist, but I am a father who strives to raise my children the right way. I never take my kids to the circus, and when they beg me to go, I take the time to explain to them that there's never a good reason to be cruel to an animal.
When I see an elephant, one of Earth's most majestic creatures, standing with all four feet on a small stool, I am deeply troubled. Any logical person knows that they're looking at an animal that has been tortured repeatedly to perform such a trick.
does it come to anyones surprise that attendance at cirque de soliel engagements are sold out, NO ANIMAL ACTS.
yes,because they belong in the wild
Of course it should be outlawed. These are wild animals that are mistreated and abused for the amusement of the masses. I went to a circus when I was little and was offered a ride on a donkey that was tied to a large wheel. I could see that he was malnourished and looked sad. It made me sad, and from that young age I decided not to go to a circus again. It was only in my twenties that I decided to go to the zoo again. I would never take my 2 sons to a circus with animals.
I dont think they should but I do think they shouldbe monitored for abuse. it is wrong to discipline animals in the way they show in that video.
honest john in his above comment stated that:
"Hate to say it but the elephants at Ringling are probably treated better than all the elephants in Africa. Maybe PETA should spend it’s energies going after the poachers in Africa?"
but perhaps he doesn't understand that elephants are chained up 23 hours per day when not performing and in the wild, in protected areas, they are not beaten with bull hooks or have thier babies stolen by circuses.
Of course it should be outlawed – as a civilized and educated nation, the welfare of these highly intelligent animals must be prioritized over their entertainment value.
Jack, why give any relevence at all to PETA. There are sick and silly people in this world that are cruel to animals but PETA is an eco terrorist organization that has no use in this world. Why give them free press?
The use of wild animals in circuses should definitely be outlawed. Humans have destroyed millions of acres of land that these animals need in order to survive. We then take the animals, abuse them, and force them to perform for humans' amusement -. – and we are the ones that are supposed to be civilized! We have a long way to go before we truly achieve that level.
Heck yes, the use of wild animals in circuses should be banned. Nobody who loves animals could work with them in a circus environment. They're wild animals, and should live in the wild.
Once you've seen herds of elephants living in their natural habitat, you can never go to a circus using wild animals again. It's just plain cruel. Shame on Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey. It's 2009 we all know better.
I guess these guys never saw the video of the abused elephant trampling and goring his abuser.
Yes, it should be outlawed, wild animals do not belong in the circus.
Obviously the handlers don't have a clue.
Palm Bay, FL
Elephants are intelligent creatures whose capacity for self-awareness, empathy and suffering are only beginning to be understood by human science. It seems only just that our species begin to act with more "humanity" toward our fellow Earthlings, especially whales, chimpanzees, elephants and other mammals who just might value their freedom, cherish their children's futures, and resent the injustices visited upon them every bit as much as we do.
"Should the use of wild animals in circuses be outlawed?"
The Cirque Du Soliel has proven that a circus can be incredibly successful without using a single animal in any of their shows.
Yes, and I would also include outlawing the use of horses for horse racing which can result in their injury and death.
Circus and zoo animals are all abused as are all large animals. Jailed for for the mere amusement of people. People should visit jails for fun and a lesson instead. People are the most vicious animals on earth, now thats entertainment.
The use of wild animals in circuses should not be outlawed, in my opinion, but should be much more closely monitored. The only chance that some children have to see these animals up close is in the circus arena, which provides needed exposure for these children. In that way, the use of animals in this way is beneficial, but organizations should be VERY closely monitored in their practices and how they treat these animals. There are many animals that are housed in/on rescue facilities and maybe these animals could be used for the exposure that children need for learning, but I do not believe that they, or any animal for that matter, should be taught or trained to do "tricks" for entertainment purposes. Animals are a wonder of creation in the same sense that humans are and should be treated with respect and dignity, as all creations should be. These "handlers" should be administered the same treatment that they delivered to these animals and then they might have a different view on their techniques.
Wild animals should NOT be used for entertainment! What kind of society are we that condones they torture and abuse of any animal for entertainment? Ring Bros denied the video but the Elephants had Ring Bro minocers on their heads! Circus' won't stop until people stop going to them.
110%. Since age 10 I've refused to go to circuses and zoos and still will not patronize them now at age 36. No animal should be caged and put on display for public viewing!
Yes, it should have been outlawed a long time ago.
We treat these animals as slaves. If they could talk they would tell you so. The only way these animals can tell you how they feel is through violent behavior brought on by frustration and mistreatment.
Usually by then its too late because thats when we shoot them and use the excuse it was a rogue animal. How convienant.
It makes you wonder who is slow to evolve, animal or human.
Absolutely! These animals are meant to be in the wild. Not tortured with whips, chains, hooks, or electric prods, all for a few moments of “entertainment.”
Yes. I put myself in the place of that elephant and sooner or later I'm going to show that guy some other use for that stick. You want to see animals like that go to the zoo.
Yes, the use of all wild animals should be outlawed. The documentation of abuse by numerous animal welfare organizations, not just PETA, indisputably shows that circus animals are repeatedly abused and tormented. Aside from the physical torment, their daily lives of living in small cages or being chained is so far removed from their natural life. Ringling Brother's claim that their use of elephants helps raise awareness of the Asian elephants being endangered is merely a poor excuse for their continued abusive behavior. No circus should be allowed to use wild animals. It is against their nature to "perform" for human entertainment. The way to respect these animals is to let them live the most natural life they can if they cannot be returned to the wild.
The answer is simple: boycott Ringling Bros. We can't keep trying to legislate all bad things out of existence. At some point we have to recognize the power we have as individuals.
Definitely, let the circus people do the tricks, at least they have a choice. It's a well known fact that elephants are very intelligent and deserve better than they get! In fact, there is no need for any wild animal to be used for profit.
The answer is yes!!! How many times have we watched and seen videos of cruel handlers torturing and abusing animals for circuses. What kind of human beings are we, knowing that these beautiful creatures are always abused supposedly for our entertainment. Ringling Bros. has a huge reputation for abuse of elephants, which breaks my heart, and they have their own ranch where they breed and raise elephants so no one can question them. Supposedly they take the baby elephants from the mother at age 2 to start training them for our entertainment. We all know that baby elephants stay with the mother for many, many years. Give me a break. It's always about the money and we Americans are so nieve and stupid to believe any of their lies.
Absolutely, circuses can still go on without animals. In York Region, an hour North of Toronto, any circus with animals is outlawed in that region. I think they all should be, let's put these endangered animals in places like Safari's where they have freedom to roam and not treated with such abuse. I would never pay money to watch an animal perform in this matter. I worked at a equestrian boarding and one guy there when the horse wouldn't do as he was told started kicking her with his boots in the stomach over and over as hard as he could. I was raised with horses and know this is not how you handle a horse that may be stubborn, there are other ways. When I complained nothing was done, I ended up quitting. Still today when I think about it I get tears in my eyes like now, just like the video of the elephants you showed did.
One day those elephants will turn, and when they do people get hurt and the elephants get killed, where is the humane treatment in that?
Absolutely! Elephants are highly intelligent animals and should be treated with the respect they deserve. That means allowing them to live free in their natural habitat.
Expressing dissatisfaction must come by hitting the circus industry in the pocket – refuse to purchase tickets as long as animals are part of the show.
In these times when saving the planet and all the endangered species is of such importance, why would it be necessary for the continued cruel and degrading treatment of the animal kingdom's most threatened citizens. .....Ringling Bros. needs to respect them, not use them for profit. Hire more clowns.
Absolutely it should be outlawed. I find it ridiculous that Ringling Bros. can say they 'love their animals' , the very presence of the animals in the show is tatamount to abuse, whether they're beaten with sticks or patted gently on the head. These animals should be in their natural habitat, whether that be the wild or a nature reserve. That the indignity of their imprisonment is compounded by specific acts of physical abuse is almost moot; they should not be there at all. What kind of sicko's find torture entertaining (I'm referring, of course, to the people in the audience)?
Whats next?!? Outlawing seal shows, Shamu at Waterworld, Zoos, cattle branding... what about the travesties that occur at rodeos? Why do we only hear about circuses? PETA needs a more rounded approach. What is okay and what is not?
Yes it should be OUTLAWED to use wild animals in Circus, just look at their feelings and mo9vements ,they have feelings too. They back up from te pain of being hit by these no good animal abusers. I say ,CLOSE THE CIRCUS DOWN. I live in Sarasota,where they are stationed, I see how these animals are abused.
Take away the Elephants, Tigers and Bears and what is left of the circus....Oh My!!
Yes, it should be outlawed. Animals should absolutely not be used and abused for entertainment. Circuses continuously violate of the under-enforced federal Animal Welfare Act.
Don't have time to say too much... just that wild animals should not be used in the circus. I do not take my children to the circus because I cannot stomach it. I can't believe they claim they're somehow part of the effort to save the African elephant from becoming extinct. What a joke. Where do they find people to work at such places?
Yes it should be outlawed, but the show must go on. As the Congress already provides its own fair share of clowns for the amusement of the public, I'm sure they can pony up (pardon the pun) a few of the denizens of the House to perform some of their wonderous tricks in RInglings three rings for all to see. Peanuts anyone?
Yes. Do you think if humans weren't around these animals would be running there own circus's? No. It's not natural. We need to stop exploiting animals AND humans for the sake of MONEY! And for those that say no cause children learn and laugh? There's nothing to "learn" at a circus. They may laugh but there's plenty to laugh at in this world without using animals to do it. Take them back stage on the road and see if they laugh.
These animals are highly social creatures and should be removed from their natural habitats only when that removal is for the welfare of the individual animal. Our abuse of them for our own amusement is shameful, hardly less brutal than bullfighting or pit bull blood-sport.
Yes, circus animals are not only abused, confined, and caged but have no natural life, AND such circuses teach children that animals are objects, not the sentient beings they – and we – are. Making it against the law to abuse/use these animals is long overdue.
Bainbridge Island, WA
Circuses–any circuses– should absolutely stop using animals to entertain people. Its a sick practice to force wild animals to do silly tricks. How sad. They are taking away the animals' natural lives God intended for them to have. This must be outlawed. I went to the Ringling Brothers Circus once when I was a child in the 60's and I never went back because I could see it then. Seeing the tigers having people slap leather at them was not something I cared about seeing.
Yes, and serious consideration should be given to include animals in zoos. The methods used to trap these animals in the wild are barbarous and horrific. The business of using animals for the purpose of entertaining humans throughout this world should be banned, this practice serves as a good indicator as to the lack of humanity in humans.
Most definitely. The use of wild animals in both circuses and zoos is unnatural and harmful to their species. The word "WILD" says it all. They belong in the wild. It is ridiculous to take such a beautiful animal and put them on show for human enjoyment. Would you like to be the elephant?
Jack, there's no question that animals should be banned from circuses, it is cruel to the animals and it is very barbaric. Animals were not put on this planet to be abused for our entertainment.
Yes, the use of wild animals in circuses must be outlawed. I don't understand why so many people will not allow their children or pets or themselves to be mistreated, yet they see captive wild animals, with no rights whatsoever, performing tricks as entertainment. It's inhumane and morally wrong. Would any of us want to be taken from our home and separated from our families, poked, proded, whipped and locked up for most of our lifetime and then discarded when we are to old or sick to perform?
Los Altos, CA
I just heard your piece on Ringling Brothers Circus. I believe that animals should not be used for our entertainment in a circus for the wild animals. I also am against dogs and horses in racing. The wild ones should be left in the wilds or preserves and the domestic animals (dogs and cats) in loving homes. What is taking the world so long to realize these animals have been horribly abused for so long? Thanks to PETA for trying to get it out in the open and stopped. Thanks to you for reporting it. Some people are not aware and attend circuses in awe of how these animals perform! No wonder; they are terrified and fearful.
Wild animals are not NEEDED anymore in a circus: People today can see them in the wild by traveling or watching documentaries in HD. Circus animals are always abused and treated badly, they are not free to roam, they are beaten and forced to do unnatural things: I don't want to see an elephant standing on its head for entertainment! Let people performe in a circus andd leave the animals in a Zoo or better in the wild.
Absolutely! I love the animals in the circus, but cruelty to animals in completely unacceptable. All animals used in circuses would much rather be in the wild than where they are now, guaranteed. Everyone who is involved in this unacceptable event should be brought to justice, and the animals involved should be released into their natural habitat where ever that my be.
The use of animals in the circus should absolutely be outlawed. I took my son to his first circus when he was 3 years old. I could clearly see the whip marks on both sides of the horses neck. My son has never been back to the circus. He's 20 now. I won't ever support the circus until the use of animals has stopped.
I don't see wild animals captureing humans and cageing and beating them in the wild just so other animals can view them what does that tell you?
Condemning wild creatures to a life of captivity and exploitation is unmoral, abusing them, as in this video, should be a crime. We humans bear a responsibility toward those animals who cannot defend or speak for themselves. At the very least they must be provided with a life as close to their natural habitat as possible, and they must never be forced to perform in front of crowds for the sole purpose of profit.
Yes, yes and yes. I have seen mistreatment even of tigers on the highway as they are transported in freezing weather conditions.
I have never been a PETA supporter. I think they do more harm than good for animal rights overall. And I am speaking as a professional veterinary technician, so I do promote animal wellness and welfare since my whole life has been in service to animals and their well being. That being said, I think PETA did a great thing here to expose how circus animals are treated. It's no secret that these animals are mistreated. Personally, I refuse to patronize any circus that uses animals because of this fact. The only way to make them stop using animals is to stop paying good money and supporting them with attendance and applause. If people really understood the conditions these animals are being forced to survive in, most would be outraged. Yes, the use of performance animals should be outlawed, but until then just stop going to the circus. Nothing brings change faster than cutting off financial support.
Jack, the only wild animal that needs to be displayed in a circus is MAN! Man also seems to be the only animal that acts violently not from the motive of necessity but for pleasure or greed.
Jack, thank you so much for asking this question. Of course the use of animals in circuses should be outlawed. In addition to the documented abuse, animals experience fear and stress like we do and they weren't put on this earth to entertain us. Monkeys do not ride bikes in their natural environment and lions don't jump through fire. While I'm at it, let's keep dolphins and whales out of Sea World. The whole issue infuriates me.
West Chester, PA
Yes, the majority of circus animals should be outlawed. While I generally do not agree with PETA's extreme methods and activities, I do NOT believe wild animals were intended to wear clothes and jump thru hoop fires. I don't think it's presumptious to say that is not what God had in mind when He created these amazing animals.
Behind the glitz and glamor of Ringling Bros. circus lies a world of untold animal suffering. Most people would be horrified if they saw the way that circuses treat the animals behind the scenes. As someone with a Master's Degree in Animal Behavior, I can assure you that the elaborate tricks you see in ring cannot be achieved through positive reinforcement. In order to force "wild" animals to perform unnatural and complicated tricks, circuses beat animals with sharp metal bullhooks and whips. While not performing, elephants spend 90% of their lives in chains so tight they can't take a step forwards or backwards. After enduring years of neglect and abuse, circus animals frequently "snap" and rampage and circus goers are directly in their path. Circuses are not only cruel to the animals but they are dangerous for the public and should be outlawed.
Yes, the use of wild animals in circuses should be outlawed. This is yet another example where man continues to disrespect nature and some of this planet's most amazing creatures. Children attending circuses should not grow up thinking this carnival show is natural for animals. If we want to be a more intelligent society we should watch animals in their habitats.
YES! We should definitely outlaw the use of wild animals in a circus. I could tell when I was a child that it seemed wrong to use them for our entertainment, and have long ago quit going to that kind of circus for that reason. Their "normal" living conditions in a circus are deplorable enough, but with even more abuse like this, it is incredibly inhumane. I'm all for outlawing this. We should all go to Cirque du Soliel instead. It is vastly more entertaining than watching the cruelty that goes on with the Ringling Bros. and other circus outfits. They should stick to the trapeze stuff, and firing idiots out of a cannon.
Not necessarily, but the trainers acted stupidly.
Yes! Animals should be outlawed from any circus and this should have been done years ago. There have been numerous cases of animal abuse by the so called "trainers" for many years. Let's get it done! For the animal's sake.
It should not be allowed under any circumstances. Naturally they support the wild animal population ... DUH ... How else would they get more when the ones they incarcerate die or get violent from abuse...
The Circus might better show documentaries on our wild animals and sea creatures, and how to preserve its inhabitants.
Absolutely, Jack, along with caging animals in zoos and using them for so-called "medical training." Having been forced to slice open the thorax of a sedated dog (my effort timed with a stopwatch) that was subsequently euthanized, and having "practiced" infant intubation on barely sedated cats and pigs, I can honestly swear that the use of these animals in no way furthered my skills or medical education–especially given that plastic and other models are far more anatomically human-like and readily available. We have barely progressed out of the Roman coliseums in our attitudes or morality. Business (read: money) still trumps decency.
The last time I went to a circus (as part of a job) there was a mangy, sad-looking tiger tied to the tent pole with a heavy chain, while the band played "Born Free." What a mixture of irony and pathos. Don't get me started on zoos. Or puppy mills. The answer is yes, one-thousand times yes.
It's a tough call to make the use of wild animals in circuses against the law all together... but my attitude towards it is simple... if you want to see wild animals do tricks... have the guts and respect to go to their environment... see them naturally... not dressed in ridiculous outfits and being whipped into doing ridiculous activities....
Kenneth Feld of Ringling Brothers should be prosecuted. I just saw the video footage of the awful handler hitting that poor elephant, who looked like a young bull, so many times. How absolutely awful when so many of us are trying to help these animals. Mr. Felds is a disgusting person who uses the circus and his supposed love and care for the asian elephant as a cover for his "research" into these beautiful and gentle giants. No, absolutely no, these animals should not be used in circus acts anymore. The fact that today anyone in America wants to see elephants standing on their hind legs and trying to dance is stupid. Haven't we moved on from the 1950s and '60s? That goes for the other exotic animals as well. Why doesn't Ken Feld put his money and his mouth where his heart suposedly is and open up an elephant camp for youngster, adults and families to go and take care of these animals and to learn and be educated about them? Wouldn't that be more fulfiling and rewarding for everyone? Why are we trying to make elephants dance for God's sake? Where is the intelligence in that?
Yes, it should be outlawed. I for one can do without the animal segment at Ringling Bros. Circus. Either take them back to where they belong or put them where they can get the care they deserve. Because obviously you can't provide them with that.
I always loved animals and I believe they should have rights, because
God put them here in this planet for a reason and are part of the
planet evolution. In my opinion Circus should be banned. They have a
long history of abusing animals. Would you like somebody do the same
to you. We have to show respect for anything in nature. I am also against
Zoos also. in which animals lose its freedom to run free as God meant
No, circuses should continue to display train exotic animals in their shows, its a wonderful tradition and supports awarness and encourages education about endangered animals. PETA needs to quit these ridiculous campaigns and should instead let the media focus their attention on more pressing and universal issues. We shouldn't have had to listen to them tell us to be humane to house-flies, and the problems facing the world currently out weigh circus acts.
Circuses should be outlawed. Period. IT'S 2009!!
I was a zookeeper at Zoo Atlanta for over twenty years and for some of that time cared for the zoo's Asian Elephants. The "bull hook" or "elephant hook" in the hands of a well trained and experienced handler is a useful tool used to guide and train the animals. However, in the wrong hands it is just the opposite, and can be used to great harm.
I am not a fan of performing animal acts, and would prefer that circuses stop using them. After all, the lack of animal acts has never hurt Cirque du Soleil.
Yes, they should be either free, or in a zoo that will treat them better than that circus is treating them.
Absolutely, what right right do we have to mistreat wild creatures for our entertainment. What do they get from it. Atleast at many zoos animals are given some open spaces and replications of there natural surroundings We need as a society to be more in touch with all of our neighbors.
Absolutely, wild animals are not on this earth for our entertainment. Is this just not another form of slavery, is it any different because they are not human beings? We are all God's creatures and we are meant to share this earth not enslave each other on it for our own entertainment. Does anyone really think these animals prefer living like they do as opposed to living in the wild?
Yes, the use of wild animals for peoples' entertainment should be banned in all areas. The only humane reason to remove an animal from it's habitat is forit;'s protection, and to keep the species from becoming extinct, which is also usually due to the encrouchment of man.
Absolutely not. Elephants, lions, chimpanzees and other wild animals have been part and parcel of the cicus for time out of mind. While PETA's claims against Wringling Bros. should be investigated, banning wild animals altogether would mean, well, that it's just not the circus anymore. It's like banning Frisbees in public parks.
Use of wild animals in circuses should absolutely be outlawed. Animals only perform unnatural acts after being beaten incessantly by trainers. They're also kept in horrific conditions, suffering terribly at the hands of these unconscionable businesses. No credence should be given to Ringling Bros. assertion that they 'love their animals.' Unless I'm missing something exploitation and abuse has nothing to do with LOVE!
Absolutely not. If these animals were abused, the guilty partys should certainly be punished along with the top management for not policing it, "IF" these videos are accurate. PETA has been known to go to some pretty far out tactics to further their attempts to put the welfare of animals over that of people. They have no credibility whatsoever with me. Think back to your own childhood (try hard) and try to think of a circus without elephants. I can't!
Yes! So much of what the animals are being trained to do is unnatural for those animals. Too much opportunity for abuse to force animals to perform.
Animals take so much abuse theno 'rogue" and get killed. Everyone in that film should be arrested & made to do the Walk with their name. Ringling Brothers make big bucks off these animals, they should monitor those trainers, one offense you are out. Let the Public know -Ringling Brother won't get the box office, money talks all else walks.
I don't agree with the fanatics of PETA but I do believe that there is widespread abuse of animals in the entertainment business. Animals under human pressure to perform on stage can have abusive bosses just like we do. This is despicable.
I absolutely think circuses should not be allowed to use any kind of animals for entertainment purposes!!!!!! they do not know how to properly treat the animals so therefore should not be allowed to make money off them!!!!!! I would like to see the so called "handlers" be treated the same way they treat those poor animals and see how they like it!!!!!!!!! I give the animals mad props for tolerating the abuse and not attacking the handlers.......although I really wouldn't blame the animals if they did attack them!!!!!!!!!
No. PETA should spend time on helping people. When there are no more starving children, I'll worry about the elephants. PETA is just a group of well-off white people who want to feel good about themselves, but are too lazy to worry about people.
I have boycotted Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily circus ever since hearing about the past, and continued abuse of these innocent Elephants. Absolutely, I believe without a doubt that wild circus animals should be left to their own environment, and should not be in the circus. The abuse has to stop! We have to stand up and be the voice for these beautiful, helpless, animals.
YES , Wild animals are forced to live in a way that is unnatural for them. In that situation it is easy for them to become depressed and frustrated. More often than not they get abused in some way.-PS–Jack, Thanks for showing your concern about this issue !
Since my grandparents I hva been listenings that is very wrong to use wild or domestic animals I. in sa circus. It is cruel and unnaturalThat is why my family and many of other people never go tothe circu.. They shouldl do it like "Cir
Ringling brothers is barbaric to say the least. What messege does it send to kids and people that ANY form of abuse is acceptable.After watching hundreds of hours of animal abuse it just shows the depths of pure evil that people will go to make a buck! BAN Ringling and any other animail abusers. There is no place in this world for satan spawn animal abusers to be allowed to continue profiting off animal abuse! That goes for ALL the industries.
Wild animals in circuses should be outlawed; it's just another form of slavery. Those poor elephants are like a duck out of water they don't belong there, they should free to roam in a herd just like you and I are free to roam among our peers.
I am a big animal lover, no amimal should be abused. And as far as am consern they should be in the wild where they belong!!!
Yes, Jack. Outlaw circus animals, the elephants, the tigers, the whole lot of them. And anyone who thinks otherwise ought to be dressed up in sequins, danced on, and whacked with a bullhook themselves.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
About Jack Cafferty
Subscribe | Send Feedback