Protection of Asian Elephants: Additional Resources

Post-Decision Statement on Behalf of the Plaintiffs:

Washington, D.C. (December 31, 2009) - Katherine Meyer, lead attorney for the plaintiffs in ASPCA, et al. v. Feld Entertainment, Inc. released the following statement on behalf of the plaintiffs the day after the ruling by Judge Emmet Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia:

"After a nearly ten year legal battle against the Ringling Bros. Circus regarding its mistreatment of endangered Asian elephants, a federal judge yesterday dismissed the case on grounds that the plaintiffs lacked 'standing' to pursue their claims. Because he dismissed the case for a lack of jurisdiction, the Court did not address any of the extensive evidence presented at trial that showed Asian elephants kept on chains for much of their lives and hit with bull hooks, or the testimony of several renowned experts that these practices harm the elephants in many ways. The case focuses on elephant mistreatment under the Endangered Species Act. Had the Court addressed the merits of the case and ruled favorably for the plaintiffs, the Circus would have been required to stop its chaining and bull hook practices or obtain a special permit from the federal government to continue to engage in these practices."

The plaintiffs in the case include a former Ringling Bros. employee, The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, the Fund for Animals, and the Animal Protection Institute. The plaintiffs are weighing their options regarding further proceedings.

Contact: Katherine Meyer, 202-588-5206, Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal