A circus producer said Friday that an animal rights group has paid it $9.3 million to settle two federal court cases claiming elephant abuse.
Feld Entertainment, Inc., trumpeted the settlement with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as a victory for its Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
"These defendants attempted to destroy our family-owned business with a hired plaintiff who made statements that the court did not believe," said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, in a statement.
"Animal activists have been attacking our family, our company, and our employees for decades because they oppose animals in circuses," Feld said. "This settlement is a vindication not just for the company but also for the dedicated men and women who spend their lives working and caring for all the animals with Ringling Brothers in the face of such targeted, malicious rhetoric."
The ASPCA was one of several animal rights groups that sued Feld Entertainment in 2000, alleging that circus elephants were abused.
Friday, December 28, 2012
ASPCA paid circus $9.3 million to settle lawsuit
Back in 2000, animal rights groups, including the ASPCA, sued the producer of the Ringling Brothers Circus for cruelty to elephants. The only problem was that the circus, as far as the court could tell, treated its elephants well. The ASPCA's case was based on the eyewitness testimony of Tom Rider. The case collapsed when it was exposed that the ASPCA has paid Rider for his testimony. CNN provides more details on why the activists were forced to pay such a large settlement: