Ringling Brothers: The Greatest Elephant-Abuse Lawsuit on Earth

Is this really necessary and/or entertaining?

Siouxsie loves carnivals and circuses.  They are dark, spooky and mysterious.  Unfortunately, they are not a great place to work — especially if you are an elephant.

And who doesn’t love elephants.  They have their own infrasonic secret language.

As reported at this link, last week United States District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan threw out a lawsuit against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  The lawsuit stated that Ringling Bros. and its parent company Feld Entertainment  “tortured Asian elephants with bull hooks and chained them for long periods . . . . [and] the mistreatment led to the deaths of several elephants . . . .”

Even more horrifying than the elephant-abuse allegations is that this litigation spanned ten years and went to trial for six weeks before being dismissed without ever reaching the merits of the claims.  A link to the 57-page opinion is here.  In a nutshell (pun intended), the Court held that the plaintiff for the animal-rights organizations lacked standing (the plaintiff was not entitled to sue).

This lawsuit was a complete waste of time and resources.

How is it possible that this case went on for so long, only to be dismissed on these grounds?

According to the opinion, the plaintiff for the animal rights organizations, Mr. Rider, unexpectedly imploded on the stand (or took a dive).  And what is worse, it turns out Mr. Rider’s sole source of income for the entire 10-year span of litigation has been from animal rights groups (even though he never worked for them).  This is not cool.  It is difficult to believe anything a witness says when they are paid to be a professional plaintiff.

But Siouxsie is not going to place all the blame on the animal rights organizations.  It is hard not to suspect that Ringling Brothers is somehow behind all of this.  Ringling Brothers is a creepy outfit, and known for all types of dirty tricks and other shenanigans.

This is the same Ringling Brothers that hired spies to torment and destroy a freelance writer, Janice Pottker, who wrote a story they didn’t appreciate.

As Jeff Stein describes in the “Greatest Vendetta on Earth,”

Feld [who is heir to the Ringling Bros. Dynasty] hired people to manipulate [Pottker’s] whole life over the past eight years.  Feld . . . spent a lot of money on it . . . . even tried to destroy her marriage.  In fact, Pottker would eventually learn of a massive dirty tricks operation, involving former CIA officials and operatives, that would target Ringling enemies such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other groups, not just Pottker.

Yikes.

. . . .Feld had set up a special unit, much like the Watergate “plumbers,” to destroy anyone who threatened the image of the circus as wholesome fun for the whole family. . . . His main target was People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and similar groups that had annoyed Feld with charges that the Ringling Bros.’ elephants were badly cared for.

It certainly makes one wonder what the whole story is here.

Seriously, be careful before you mess with Ringling.  They are crazy.

And as for the elephant-abuse litigation, it is not completely over.  Ringling is suing the plaintiffs  in U.S. District Court under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) over the allegations that the animal rights groups paid the Ringling employee for his testimony.  And the plaintiffs filed another lawsuit last month with the U.S. Department of Agriculture  alleging mistreatment of the circus elephants.

Photo Credit:

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~ by siouxsielaw on January 7, 2010.

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