The animal rights activist group ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) tried to nail Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on a cruelty to elephants charge.
The ASPCA suit backfired and now the activist group must pay Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus $9.3 million to settle a lawsuit the circus filed after courts found that activists paid a former circus worker for his help in claiming the circus abused elephants.
The circus operator is Feld Entertainment. The chairman of Feld Entertainment, Kenneth Feld, said in a statement that the settlement was a vindication for the company and its employees.
Legal proceedings by Feld against the Humane Society of the U.S., the Fund for Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, Animal Protection Institute United with Born Free USA, former Ringling Bros. employee Tom Rider and the attorneys involved will continue.