Animal Rights Wrongs

Published February 6, 2013

Ten years ago the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) sued Ringling Bros.–Barnum & Bailey circus for alleged mistreatment of its elephants. Now the litigation is ending with the ASPCA agreeing to pay the circus $9.3 million for alleged litigation abuse.

The settlement came after a judge ruled the group could be sued for alleged misconduct during the litigation, which included payments to one of the fact witnesses in the case.

Walter Olson of the Cato Institute points out the ASPCA is a national advocacy organization that doesn’t support animal shelters or rescue organizations. “Still, $9.3 million would buy an awful lot of flea collars, and that the group was willing to spend so much to settle suggests it saw a significant potential for liability,” he wrote.

Source: Walter Olson, “The lawsuit circus,” New York Post, January 6, 2013