WHAT IT IS
- May 21, 2017: Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey closed the famous circus troupe after 146 years.
- Ringling Bros. suffered from controversy on animal treatment, especially elephants.
- Ticket sales plummeted after elephants were removed from the performance, causing executives to announce that “the show couldn’t go on”.
WHY IT MATTERS
This seems to be the end of the circus, a tradition that has been traveling across America since the 1800’s. Moreover, there are now 19 circus troupes using animal performances with new legislation pending regarding the use of animals in the circus. Profit for these circus companies remains in question as an icon was forced to shut down after removing animals from the stage.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
- A bill that would ban animals from circuses was introduced after Ringling’s closure: Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA).
- Ringling has 50 animals that need new homes.
- The Animal Legal Defense Fund objects to exporting the animals to a German circus.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- Are there ways to make a circus safe for animals?
- Should the animals go to another circus?
- What happens to the human performers?