Michael Budkie writes:
Re Ringling to move all elephants from the circus ring into cancer research by May 2016, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus may be violating federal law by providing research material to the University of Utah from its soon-to-be retired elephants.
Public records disclose that Feld Entertainment, the owner of the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, paid a $270,000 fine to the government after inspections from 2007 to 2011 revealed violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Feld’s new problem is that while it is an animal exhibitor, it is not a federally licensed animal dealer, according to public records. And doing any research-related activity without having the proper permit for it violates the law.
In a letter to the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, SAEN has asked the agency to “investigate this matter and determine whether Feld Entertainment, while providing elephant blood samples to University of Utah, has been operating as an unlicensed animal dealer in serious violation of the Animal Welfare Act. If your office finds that this facility is indeed violating the AWA, we must insist that you levy the maximum penalty allowable under the law, $10,000 per infraction.”
Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN)
Alfredo Kuba says
No surprise here, these poor elephants will never know anything remotely close to freedom as long as they are in the hands of Feld and Ringling Bros. This so called “retirement” is in the same breeding facility owned and operated by Kenneth Feld and Ringling Bros. where these poor animals have endured beatings, dominations and enslavement throughout their entire miserable lives. And now another arrogant and stupid form of exploitation for Kenneth Feld to cash in from further exploiting these creatures for futile and wasteful research on cancer, a disease that it is mostly preventable and even reversed with a plant based diet.
We owe these elephants at minimum to be relinquished to a legitimate sanctuary where they can live the rest of their remaining years in peace and free from any human exploitation.
Merritt Clifton says
Several of the most common forms of cancer appear to be mostly preventable with a plant-based diet, but many other cancers are of congenital origin, or result from exposure to a variety of stimuli ranging from known carcinogens such as asbestos to normal amounts of sunlight. Many of these stimuli are harmless to most people, but deadly to some. The extraordinary promise of elephant gene p53 is that it appears to attack a broad spectrum of cancers at the point of genetic susceptibility.
Rick Bogle says
No gene acts independently; all genes are parts of complex systems. Complex systems are not good predictive models of each other. Elephant and human DNA share some common features with other organisms, but the complex system problem negates the reliability of implications for any species from the genes of another. If it were otherwise, the genetic commonalities between mice and humans would have resulted in a revolution in human health care.
Merritt Clifton says
Such a revolution in human health care has in fact occurred since the advent of intensive use of mouse modeling of human disease in the early 20th century. To what extent mouse modeling has contributed may be debated, but in view of the billions of dollars to be made from successfully developing treatments for human disease, to argue that every major biomedical research institution and every major pharmaceutical company has blindly used mouse models, and continues to do so, while ignoring more productive approaches, is to argue, essentially, that everyone involved in health-related research and development is stupid.
Ironically, increased understanding of the limitations of mouse modeling has reduced reliance on the use of mice in some aspects of biomedical research, while increasing interest in mouse studies in the areas where the results seem to be more consistently positive.
For instance, the February 11, 2013 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that “Genomic responses in mouse models poorly mimic human inflammatory diseases,” based on 10 years of investigation by 39 leading biomedical researchers, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Blogged NIH director Francis Collins, “If it works in mice, so we thought, it should work in humans. But,” Collins continued, “Mice apparently use distinct sets of genes to tackle trauma, burns, and bacterial toxins.”
“The NIH plans to commit $70 million over the next five years,” Collins announced, “to develop miniature 3-D organs made with living human cells to help predict drug safety and efficacy.” These, Collins believes, “may ultimately provide better models of human disease and biology than the use of animals.
“But that doesn’t mean studying mice is useless,” Collins added. “Mice are more resilient to infection and mount a much more regulated immune response to pathogens than humans. Perhaps this is because mice nose around in some filthy places and can’t afford to overreact to every microbe. If we knew how these rodents limit the drama of their immune response, it might be useful for us humans.”
Therefore the NIH continues to fund mouse research in that direction.
Jamaka Petzak says
EXTREMELY discouraged and disappointed; sharing to social media. It looks like these elephants may be going from bad to worse at the hands of these soulless exploiters. Not surprising — just very, very sad and indefensible.
Feld and his Ringding circus have been in court so many times… did anyone REALLY BELIEVE the newest marketing idea? We’ll do CANCER RESEARCH! That way everyone will love us again!! WRONG. Only the people who read headlines alone and don’t look at what is swept under the carpet. There is way more money in doing research than an outdated and less tolerated traveling freak show will ever offer.
Pat Cuviello says
Help get Ringling’s Elephants to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee where they can live freely, without being hit with bullhooks, shocked with electric prods or chained; https://www.change.org/p/ringling-bros-circus-owners-ken-nicole-and-alana-feld-tell-ringling-brothers-to-retire-their-elephants-to-the-elephant-sanctuary-in-tennessee?recruiter=419207442&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
Marjory Kephart says
The Ringling elephants have been tortured and abused since they were babies. Now they are being used as experiments on finding a cure for cancer. From very, very bad to even a worse situation. Retire them all to an accredited sanctuary where they can spend their remaining time left to them with other elephants as companions roaming and foraging freely, lying in mud baths and bathing in streams, with people who have the compassion and knowledge to take care of the medical needs. The Elephant Sanctuary of Tennessee has offered to take them all.
Ellen Ericksen says
I am sure the Feld family is getting a ton of grant money from the Federal Government now. He is still the lowest form and still has no regard for any animal.
judy thorpe says
Not surprised. Feld said he does not approve of sanctuaries. he will never retire the eles. He will continue to use them.
ella riyu says
Free all wild animals1!!!!!