The US Department of Agriculture has charged Feld Entertainment Inc., the producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, with a $270,000 fine after finding that the company repeatedly violated the federal Animal Welfare Act between June 2007 and August 2011. Feld Entertainment agreed to the settlement and promised to implement new animal-training protocols for employees in lieu of a hearing, but did not admit to violating the Animal Welfare Act. The fine was issued after a federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit against the company previously filed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Protection Institute, which alleged that the circus violated the Endangered Species Act and systematically mistreated elephants and other animals.
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