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USDA Fines Circus Over Elephant Treatment

Last updated on Thursday, December 1, 2011

(UNDATED) - The USDA ordered Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus to pay a fine related to its treatment of elephants.

The company must pay $270,000 in penalties. Feld Entertainment Inc., which produces the shows, admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to implement new training protocols for any circus employees who handle animals.

The settlement came after a federal appeals court dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Protection Institute.

The lawsuit claimed the circus was in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

The organizations argued the circus systematically abused and exploited elephants by using metal hooks to guide and control them, as well as chaining their legs when they were not performing.

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