$270,000 In Federal Fines
The USDA hit Ringling with a $270,000 fine in 2011 for violating the Animal Welfare Act. The penalty stemmed from evidence that the circus repeatedly abused its elephants between June 2007 and August 2011. It remains the largest AWA fine in USDA history.
8,434 Fewer Fans In Asheville
Ringling circus drew 16,080 spectators when it rolled through Asheville, North Carolina, in 2011. By last year, that number had dwindled to 7,646, a 53 percent decrease.
43 Circus-Averse Ordinances
There are now at least 43 U.S. cities and counties—including Oakland, Los Angeles and San Jose, California—that have banned or restricted traveling animal shows and circuses.