Comedian Sarah Silverman is getting serious for elephants. She has teamed up with PETA in an effort to save four elephants at Ringling Bros. circus.
Silverman wrote a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging them to remove the elephants from the circus. She states that veterinarian reports to the USDA have gone unanswered as the Ringling Bros. continues to force the elephants to travel and perform.
“My friends at PETA have expert veterinary evidence showing that Nicole, Karen, Juliette, and Sara are being forced to perform grueling tricks despite suffering from lameness and, in the cases of Nicole and Karen,
arthritis as well. Arthritis is the number one reason for euthanasia in captive elephants, and veterinarians have cautioned that if their situation does not improve, Juliette and Sara will suffer life-threatening arthritis just as Karen and Nicole now do. PETA first reported this evidence to the U.S. Department of Agriculture more than nine months ago and has been told that the case is being investigated.”
She goes on to emphasize the cruelty of Ringling’s elephant training and shows. “Performing circus tricks is a painful struggle for these animals … Yet Ringling’s elephant handlers—who have zero vet experience—continually stab the animals with sharp metal rods called bullhooks in order to keep them performing despite their ailments.” The letter urges the USDA to uphold the Animal Welfare Act by removing the animals from the circus.