ASPCA Pays $9.3 Million to Ringling Bros. Circus Due To Untruthful Testimony Of A Paid Plaintiff And Witness

Dan Gainor
By Dan Gainor | December 28, 2012 | 10:36 AM EST

Lawsuits can end up like a three-ring circus, but sometimes that's a good thing.

The legal battle between the producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has ended with the ASPCA paying $9.3 million.

The case revolved around claims of elephant mistreatment and the battle has been going on for more than a decade. Animal rights groups have long tried to remove elephants from circuses and even zoos.

According to the release, a 2009 court decision found litigation against the circus "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 an eight year period by animal special interest groups, including ASPCA, their lawyers and an entity founded and controlled by those lawyers, the Wildlife Advocacy Project."

According to a press release, Feld Entertainment, which produces the circus, will continue to pursue litigation against the remaining defendants, including: Humane Society of the United States, the Fund for Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, Animal Protection Institute United with Born Free USA, Tom Rider and the attorneys involved.

"These defendants attempted to destroy our family-owned business with a hired plaintiff who made statements that the court did not believe. Animal activists have been attacking our family, our company, and our employees for decades because they oppose animals in circuses," said Kenneth Feld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Feld Entertainment.

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