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Alec Baldwin PETA

March 16, 2012 by staff 

Alec Baldwin PETA, People enjoy showbiz, but elephants do not. This is the message Alec Baldwin delivers in a disturbing four-minute video recently released with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to raise awareness of elephant mistreatment in circuses.

According to Baldwin, elephants in a circus live very different lives from animals in the wild, beginning as babies when “they are torn away form their mothers and forced to begin training for their circus performances.”

Baldwin goes on to describe the treatment of some elephants in circuses, describing photos taken by a Ringling trainer allegedly showing “the terrified baby elephants as they are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gauged with bullhooks, and shocked with electric prods. They scream, cry and struggle while they are forced into the painful positions necessary for circus tricks.”

Veterinarian Dr. Mel Richardson describes in the video that these methods are used to break the spirit of the elephant so that they will perform tricks. To Richardson though, “the amount of suffering those elephants go through in order to entertain anyone’s five year old for 15 minutes is a crime.”

The treatment of elephants in circuses has long been a contentious issue. Last November, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Feld Entertainment) agreed to pay a $270,000 fine for allegedly violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Although Feld did not admit wrongdoing, they agreed to both pay the fine and develop animal handling training for employees.

More recently, a judge blocked a ban on the use of bullhooks in Atlanta, Georgia, just as Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus came to town. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ringling Brothers spokesman Stephen Payne said, “When it comes to taking care of elephants and other exotic animals, we really are the experts. Not PETA.”

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