AWI Statement in Response to Ringling’s Closure Announcement

Washington, DC—Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced it is shutting its doors in May 2017 after 146 years in operation, according to a January 14 press release from Feld Entertainment.

Cathy Liss, Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) president, provided the following statement in response to the company’s announcement:

“The closure of the Ringling Bros. Circus later this year is great news for the wide array of exotic animals enduring deprived lives in servitude to the circus' commercial interests.

We hope that Feld Entertainment will ensure that the "suitable homes" it finds for the animals will actually be bona fide sanctuaries so the animals can spend their remaining days doing what matters to them.

Although we celebrate this victory, we will continue our work, as we have for many years, to expose the inhumane treatment of animals held by circuses around the world.”

Media Contact Information

Amey Owen, (202) 446-2128,

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