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Circus addresses controversy

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, November 13, 2014 8:55 p.m

The letter “Circus controversy ignored” made unfounded claims about Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s commitment to animal care. It’s time we set the record straight.

Ringling Bros. is very proud of its human and animal partnerships and the physical and behavioral needs of all our animals are a top priority that can be seen in every city we visit. All of our animals are trained using a system of repetition and reward, and the health and vitality of our animals is something we showcase at each and every Ringling Bros. performance.

The letter was incorrect in its description of a regulatory settlement between Ringling Bros. and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is the federal agency responsible for animal welfare inspection. Though we did not agree with a vast majority of the agency’s findings, we chose to settle our regulatory dispute with it but were never found in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Animal rights activists will no doubt continue to distort the care and commitment we have for all of our animal performers. Rather than take what they say at face value, we invite Trib readers to come see for themselves, when we return next year, how our animals are truly thriving at The Greatest Show On Earth. To learn more about Ringling Bros. animal care and conservation programs, visit elephantcenter.com .

Stephen Payne

Vienna, Va.

The writer is vice president, corporate communications for Feld Entertainment Inc.

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