Thursday, December 31, 2009

....Feld Entertainment, Inc. Victorious in Case Brought by ASPCA and....

Media Contact: Amy McWethy
(703) 448-4179
Feld Entertainment, Inc. Victorious in Case Brought by ASPCA and
Other Animal Special Interest Groups
Federal Court Finds Plaintiff Testimony of Tom Rider Not Truthful
VIENNA, VA Dec. 30, 2009 – Feld Entertainment, Inc. announced today that a federal
court dismissed a case filed more than nine years ago by animal special interest groups
who sought to ultimately outlaw elephants in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®
In its ruling, “the Court finds that Mr. Rider is essentially a paid plaintiff and fact
witness who is not credible, and therefore affords no weight to his testimony regarding
the matters discussed herein, i.e., the allegations related to his standing to sue."
Today’s decision reinforces the fact that plaintiffs’ manufactured litigation was
based on the untruthful testimony of a paid plaintiff and witness who the Court found
received at least $190,000 in payments as his sole source of income over the past eight
years by animal special interest groups, their lawyers and an entity controlled by those
lawyers, the Wildlife Advocacy Project. Furthermore, the Court ruled that “based upon
his failure to complain, the Court finds that Mr. Rider either (1) did not witness elephant
mistreatment when he was employed by FEI or (2) any mistreatment he did witness did
not affect him to the extent that he suffered an aesthetic or emotional injury.”
“We are gratified with today’s decision because it is a victory for elephants over
those whose radical agenda, if adopted, could lead to the extinction of the species,” said
Kenneth Feld, chief executive of Feld Entertainment. “We look forward to focusing on
what we do best – providing quality care to our elephants and delivering unique family
entertainment options to the public.”
“This ruling represents a victory for the elephants and a win for the U.S.
Constitution because it reinforces that the federal court is no place to entertain a
philosophical debate about whether elephants should be in the circus,” said Michelle
Pardo, of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., which is representing Feld Entertainment in the
case. “Federal court time is not for sale,” she added.
Ringling Bros.’ elephants continue to be healthy and well-cared for by a team of
full-time veterinarians and an animal care staff that works to ensure the animals have a
safe and positive environment. The company meets and exceeds federal requirements on
the care of circus animals and its animal care practices are commonly accepted and wellknown
to the government.
The Court also “finds that ensuring Mr. Rider’s continued participation as a
plaintiff was a motivating factor behind the payments to him, and that these payments
were a motivating factor for his continued involvement in the case.”
The Court also ruled against the other plaintiffs in the case: “because the
organizational plaintiffs have not established an injury in fact, traceable to FEI’s actions
that can be redressed by the Court, the organizational plaintiffs have no standing to sue
under Article III of the United States Constitution.”
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the District of Columbia presided
over the trial which began on February 4, 2009 and lasted approximately six weeks. The
case is ASPCA, et al., v. Feld Entertainment, Inc., No. 03-2006 (D.D.C.).
Background of Case
The complaint was filed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals (ASPCA); the Animal Welfare Institute, the Fund for Animals, the Animal
Protection Institute and Tom Rider, who is a former Ringling Bros. employee.
The original complaint was filed in July 2000. The case was dismissed in 2001
but was reinstated in 2003 after an appeal. The appeals court ruled that if Tom Rider
could prove that he was “aesthetically injured” by Ringling Bros.’ treatment of the
elephants, the case could proceed.
In August, 2007, the U.S. District Court narrowed the scope of the case to only
seven Ringling Bros. elephants. The judge granted partial summary judgment to Ringling
Bros. and ruled that none of the Ringling Bros. Asian elephants that were born in the
United States were subject to the claims of the animal groups under the Endangered
Species Act.
Additional information on this litigation, including Court filings and elephant care
information can be found online at Information on the
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation is available
online at
Ringling Bros. Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. defense team is led by John M.
Simpson and includes Lisa Joiner, Lance Shea, Michelle Pardo and Kara Petteway.
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 65 countries and on six continents to date and include Disney On
Ice, Disney Live!, Feld Motor Sports, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey


Anonymous said...

Actual the judge ruled that Tom Rider have no "right" to sue Ringlings...... He did not "side" with Ringling. IF you read all the court transcripts you will see Ringling has to clean up their act. Also after the court case there was a new video. These videos are not doctor to make Ringling look bad. Feld needs to get to the grass roots of his business. Sitting in his glass house and leaving it others to "take care of business" is what gets many CEO's into trouble. He needs to take a hands on approach and start inspecting his facilities and do surprise inspections. Maybe get down and get a job working with the elphants go on the road and see exactly how they are looked after. OF course this will never happen and the abuse will continue. But then again I will be censored so read the trial transcripts.

Margaret said...

....Just copied the story from the Ringling website..And you will not be censored on this Blog unless you go radical on my ass..I only pull the comments that sell Viraga.. said...

But, why published something from someone that doesn't have the nerve to signed their name.....Anonymous postings shouldn't be allowed..I have a very low opinion of these people.

SIDEBAR: What positve thing has Anonymous done for the good of circus the past few years....

Anonymous said...

I am bcelefan and I am an elephant Advocate I speak out for elephants. When I or other advocates speak out we are called AR Terrorists why. Do we not have armed forces members dying for our freedoms?? So why label someone a AR terrorists because they speak out against the circus. It is up to the public to actually learn the truth. We can do down in history as the generation that realized using a bull hook and abusing elephants was wrong or go done in history as the generation who allowed this to happen. The choice is ours to make. I prefer not to go down in history as doing nothing. So I will continue to speak out for these majestic animals. I am not against the circus I am against the treatment of the animals. There are videos out there and they are NOT doctored. So to answer your question what am I doing for the good of the circus... speaking for the elephants who can not speak and hopefully Feld and others will change their ways. As sooner or later the humans will realize the way these majestic animals are treated is WRONG. So I will continue to speak out and I do. I remember Lota, Tyke, baby Kenny and Benjamin to name a few. signed BCEleFan

leena said...

Very nice information , i really like it.

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