Ringling Bros. Circus Wins $9.3 Million Settlement from the ASPCA

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A decade-long legal battle between the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has finally come to an end. According to ABC News, the ASPCA agreed to pay $9.3 million to the company to settle a lawsuit stemming from the ASPCA's claims that the circus abused their elephants.



The ASPCA is one of several animal rights groups that sued Feld Entertainment Inc., the owner of the circus, back in 2000 for mistreating the Asian elephants used in shows. The lawsuit and investigation into the claims were launched by comments made by Tom Rider, the man in charge of caring for the circus animals from 1997 to 1999.

Rider told the courts that he witnessed the elephants being routinely abused. It was later revealed that Rider was paid off by the animal rights groups to come forward with the lawsuit. As a result, the judge ruled Rider's testimony suspect and the circus won the trial. Ringling Brothers then sued the involved animal rights groups for conspiracy to harm their business. This $9.3 million settlement is only from the ASPCA and does not cover other animal rights groups involved in the lawsuit.

Even though Rider's claims were thrown out in court, many continue to suspect the circus of abuse. The U.K. has banned the use of elephants in circus shows, and the city of Los Angeles is thinking about doing the same. Additionally, "Mother Jones" magazine and the Humane Society of the United States continue to investigate the circus's treatment of elephants, saying that routine neglect is prevalent.

Angry Elephant Attacks Tourists:

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