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ANIMAL PROTECTION OF NEW MEXICO URGES
GOV. MARTINEZ AND EXPO NEW MEXICO TO
DENY RINGLING BROTHERS PERMIT

ALBUQUERQUE [May 22, 2012] Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM) has today asked Gov. Susana Martinez and Expo New Mexico to prohibit the contemplated performances of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey (RBBB) circus at the state-owned Tingley Coliseum, citing years of animal cruelty and neglect documented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“With so much that is known of the profound suffering inflicted on highly intelligent wild animals by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus, we are asking for a clear message that New Mexico’s families want and deserve better forms of entertainment,” said Leslie King, Program Director for Animal Protection of New Mexico. “Both Rio Rancho and Albuquerque have specific ordinance provisions that prohibit this circus from performing within their city limits - precisely because of such an abysmal record of animal cruelty. These performances should not be permissible simply because the Coliseum sits on state land within the city of Albuquerque,” continued King.

Feld Entertainment, owners of RBBB circus, agreed last year to pay a $270,000 fine to settle USDA allegations that it violated the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in its handling of elephants, tigers, zebras and other exotic animals. The USDA called the civil penalty the largest ever assessed against an animal exhibitor under the AWA. It represented more than 27 violations cited from June 2007 to August 2011.

“During those proceedings, Feld Entertainment CEO Kenneth Feld admitted under oath that his trainers routinely hit elephants with bullhooks, whip them, and use electric shock prods on them. Video and written documentation is readily available to the public showing these highly abusive and horrifically cruel methods routinely used to train and control exotic animals. Fortunately, today there are many wonderful circuses to support that don’t exploit and harm wild animals, including Cirque du Soleil and New Mexico’s own Circus Luminous,” said King.

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All the USDA inspection reports referred to may be viewed on the following link, but please note in particular these three reports from just last year: June 10, August 25 and November 18, 2011: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/foia/ringling_brothers/



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Animal Protection of New Mexico, Inc. (APNM)

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