Campaign on Change.org calls on the USDA to remove circus elephant who collapsed from Ringling Bros., citing concern for animal’s health and history of Animal Welfare Act violations
WASHINGTON, DC – More than 2,000 people across the U.S. and Canada have joined a campaign on Change.org, started by a California resident concerned by the collapse of a Ringling Bros elephant in Anahaim, Calif., calling on the USDA to remove the ailing animal from the circus.
Laura Goldman, an animals blogger and California-based activist, launched the campaign on Change.org after seeing the video of Sarah, the 53-year-old elephant, collapsed on the ground beside a Ringling Bros boxcar. Just two months ago, the USDA cited Ringling Bros for violating the Animal Welfare Act by failing to treat Sarah’s chronic medical problems; meanwhile, the circus boasts that the sick elephant has never missed a performance.
“About 20 years ago, before I was really aware of circus animal abuse, I went to a Ringling Bros. show in Anaheim,” said petition creator Laura Goldman. “I was appalled by the sight of the elephants all wedged together with chains around their legs, standing on the hot asphalt in the parking lot. All these years later, I wonder if Sarah was one of those miserable elephants.”
“Sarah has an untreated, chronic infection that experts say can be fatal if not addressed, yet Ringling insists she’s perfectly healthy and continue forcing her to perform,” the petition creator continued. “I started the petition on Change.org because she’s suffered for too long already and needs to be removed from the circus.”
In less than a week, more than 2,000 people have signed the online campaign on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change. Animal Defenders International has already filed a formal complaint on Sarah’s behalf and the growing support from people across the continent adds to the pressure on the USDA to act. Protesters are planning demonstrations at upcoming Ringling Bros events in California and other locations.
“We’ve seen an incredible outpouring of concern for this elephant’s welfare after her collapse,” said Change.org Senior Organizer, Stephanie Feldstein. “Thousands of people worry that she’s in serious danger, especially as Ringling Bros continues to make Sarah perform after her fall. It has been remarkable to watch as more than 2,000 people join in to ask the USDA to step in before it’s too late.”
Live signature totals from the campaign:
Video of collapsed elephant:
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