Written by Jeff Mackey
For decades, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) illegally
and quietly issued captive-bred wildlife permits—allowing circuses, roadside
zoos, and others to harm, harass, and wound captive-bred endangered species and
making it almost impossible to challenge these abuses. For example, one federal
judge wouldn't allow a former Ringling Bros. circus employee and a
coalition of animal protection groups to challenge Ringling's beating and chaining of captive-bred elephants because Ringling had a captive-bred wildlife permit.
Furryscaly|cc by 2.0
PETA sued the FWS in August 2011 over its decision to
secretly issue one such permit and ignore a requirement that the public be
notified of all permit applications. We asked the court to require the FWS to
make those applications publicly available and to consider public comments
before making a decision about whether to approve any application.
PETA prevailed in the lawsuit—the agency agreed to do just
that and to pay PETA's attorney fees. This victory will make it easier for PETA
to keep a closer eye on animals bred in captivity by Ringling, SeaWorld, Have Trunk Will Travel, and other animal abusers. It also enables PETA to weigh in on permit
applications and bring legal challenges against permits that are improperly
Rennett Stowe|cc by 2.0
What You Can Do
To learn more about helping captive animals, head over to the "Animals Used for
Entertainment" section of PETA.org.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.