Ringling Bros. Faces Elephant Cruelty Trial

Law360 (October 22, 2008, 12:00 AM EDT) -- A long-running lawsuit alleging that Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus mistreats endangered Asian elephants that perform in the show will finally have its day in court Monday.

According to the complaint, which will be heard in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Ringling Brothers harms, harasses and wounds endangered elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act in an effort to train them.

Tom Rider, a former elephant trainer with the circus, alleges in the complaint that he witnessed elephants chained for long periods of time; beaten with sharp bull hooks; baby elephants “broken” in an...

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