A few momths ago, aninal rights activists and then-Councilwoman Lorri Galloway mounted an energetic push enact an “exotic animal” ban that would have barred Ringling Bros. and any other circus from Anaheim (and as an unintended consequence, it would have banned the Angels’ “Rally Monkey,” as well). Among other rationales, circus ban supporters cited allegations of abuse of the elephants and other circus animals.
Well, a few days ago, one of the animal rights groups that has been harassing Ringling Bros. — the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals — agreed to pay the circus $9.3 million to settle a lawsuit. From the Associated Press:
The New York-based animal rights group was one of several involved in a lawsuit filed in 2000 against the circus’ owner, Feld Entertainment Inc., claiming elephants were abused. Courts later found that the animal rights activists had paid a former Ringling barn helper involved in the lawsuit at least $190,000, making him “essentially a paid plaintiff” who lacked credibility.
Two courts agreed the former barn helper, Tom Rider, wasn’t credible and didn’t have a right to sue.
This only settles litigation with the ASPCA, and Feld Entertainment will continue its legal actions – including litigation abuse and racketeering claims — vis-a-vis its other tormenters from the animal rights realm: the Humane Society of the United States, the Fund for Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, Animal Protection Institute United with Born Free USA, Tom Rider and the attorneys involved.
This is helpful to keep in mind should any future councilmember decide to mount an anti-circus jihad.