Racketeering and litigation abuse charges against the remaining defendants are ongoing.
The two federal court cases against 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 wil continue despite this ASPCA settlement with Ringling and Brothers Circus.
Reminds me of the time the Center for Biological Diversity got convicted of lying and settled for large amounts which held up under appeal, CBD founder Suckling is happy to not discuss the particulars to this day.
More bellow the tangled web of conspiracy.
As near as I can tell cutting through the legal mumbo jumbo what they did was pay some guy an average of $20K a year to keep testifying against the Ringling Brothers Circus. Maybe they all conspired to do worse, who knows, you'd guess it will come out in the wash, or one could probably read the govt's case somewhere.
What is known is that with legal fees a heck of a lot of well meaning people's donations have been wasted.
More than the money what irks me is the animal involved, the Asian Elephant.
There is no domestic species, all elephants are wildlife, captive populations are hardly self sustaining. The process for "taming" them involves what most would call cruelty. Basically water and sleep deprivation for days until they follow basic commands, the restraint they are put in to do this is called a crush. I'm no softy but I have to say I don't much like the idea of elephants that aren't in the wild.
I've seen elephants used for logging in Laos and tourism in Thailand, I'm not at all sure which is worse. An elephant needs to spend many hours a day eating, it makes little difference if it's being worked to death for tourists or logs. Lately entrepreneurs advertise petting or watching elephants use paint brushes as a way to make tourists feel less guilty. Rescue centers and circuses both depend on a steady supply of elephants for cash flow.
There are maybe forty or fifty thousand Asian elephants left in the wild. The IUCN lists them as endangered due to the rate of population decline.
People pony up large amounts of money when you can touch their emotions. Elephants in circuses are a good source of funds for animal rights groups, they can be photographed, individuals can be named. In the wild it's difficult to even see Asian Elephants, they are shy and the forest is thick. People are much less generous to the idea of some elephants living in the wild.
It's said that elephants are self aware much in the same way as primates and porpoises are. I wish we could just let them be.