In a surprise announcement today, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be phasing out the use of elephants by 2018. Citing increased public concern over treatment of the animals, CEO Kenneth Feld said that “The decision was not easy, but it is in the best interest of our company, our elephants, and our customers.” The 13 elephants currently in the Ringling Bros. circus will be transported to the Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida, where more than 40 other elephants have been retired. In a statement this morning by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Ingrid Newkirk, she applauds the group’s decision but says that three years is too long for implementation. “If the decision is serious, then the circus needs to do it now.”
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