Does ASPCA’s $9.3 million payment to Ringling vindicate circus?

Does ASPCA’s $9.3 million payment to Ringling vindicate circus?

Does ASPCA’s $9.3 million payment to Ringling vindicate circus?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has agreed to pay $9.3 million to Feld Entertainment, which owns the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The money settles a lawsuit that the circus owners filed against the ASPCA that alleged the animal-rights group violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act by paying a witness to testify that circus employees had treated animals cruelly.

The circus owner sued several other organizations in addition to the ASPCA, which is the only one to settle so far.

The circus owners said the groups had paid a former Ringling employee more than $190,000 for his testimony in a previous lawsuit, filed in 2000, in which the animal rights groups sued Ringling. A court threw out that original lawsuit.

The ASPCA said in a statement that its payment to Ringling’s owners did not mean that it admitted wrongdoing. “We are glad to put this matter behind us so we can focus most effectively on our life-saving work, preventing cruelty and improving the welfare of animals.”

The ASPCA also said, that “this litigation has stopped being about the elephants a long time ago.”

But Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of the entertainment company, said: “These defendants attempted to destroy our family-owned business with a hired plaintiff who made statements that the court did not believe. This settlement is a vindication not just for the company, but also for the dedicated men and women who spend their lives working and caring for all the animals with Ringling Bros. in the face of such targeted, malicious rhetoric.”

What do you think? Does the ASPCA’s $9.3 million payment to Ringling vindicate the circus?


Follow the link if you wish to participate in the poll…

~ by topcatsroar on January 6, 2013.

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