November 28, 2011
Feld Entertainment, Inc. Resolves U.S. Department of Agriculture Regulatory Disputes
VIENNA, Va., Nov. 28, 2011 – Feld Entertainment, Inc. announced today an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that has resolved regulatory disputes associated with performing animals in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus.
Under the agreement, Feld Entertainment does not admit wrongdoing or any violation of USDA regulations. The company will pay a fine of $270,000 and put in place additional measures that will serve to enhance Ringling Bros®’ overall best practices.
“We look forward to working with the USDA in a cooperative and transparent manner that meets our shared goal of ensuring that our animals are healthy and receive the highest quality care,” said Kenneth Feld, chief executive officer of Feld Entertainment. “Animal care is always a top priority at Ringling Bros. and we remain committed to complying with all requirements.”
Feld Entertainment made a business decision to resolve its differences with the USDA. The company decided it was more important to focus on the future of its business by continuing to provide the best animal care possible instead of engaging in costly and protracted litigation.
“Our animal staff is dedicated to making sure all of our animals have an enriching and safe environment,” said Janice Aria, Director of Animal Stewardship and Training, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. “We stand behind the skill, compassion and quality of care provided by our animal care and veterinary staff that is in keeping with our work as advocates of animal welfare. We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure the proper treatment, well-being and safety of all our animals.”
Today’s agreement is in keeping with federal regulations like the Animal Welfare Act, which sets standards of care for animals in circuses and authorizes USDA to enforce them. These well-established laws exist to ensure the health and well-being of animals and negate the need for new laws banning the use of animals in circuses.
Ringling Bros. spends $6 million annually on its animal care, conservation and research. Ringling Bros. and its animal care staff firmly believe that performing animals, when properly cared for, live a rich and full life. The company has a team of world-renowned, accredited veterinarians offering 24/7 coverage to make sure that animals are well cared for and healthy.
About Feld Entertainment
Feld Entertainment, Inc. is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live family entertainment that lifts the human spirit and creates indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 70 countries and on six continents to date and include Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Feld Motor Sports, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®. More information can be found at www.feldentertainment.com.
Ringling Bros. is a world leader in the care and conservation of the endangered Asian elephant. In 1995, the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the reproduction, research and retirement of Asian elephants, was created on a 200 acre site in Florida. Information on the Center is available online at www.elephantcenter.com.