Alec Baldwin urges Americans to boycott circuses
By: Amy Andrews | Published Saturday, March 17, 2012, 9:00 AM | Updated Saturday, March 17, 2012, 9:00 AM
The '30 Rock' actor has posted a four-minute video on YouTube which alleges the Ringling Bros. company, as well as many others, mistreat the animals and he wants people to stay away.
In the video posted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Alec said: "Having worked with actors for many years, it's hard to believe that anyone would have to be dragged kicking and screaming into show business.
"But for the elephants for Ringling Bros. and other circuses, that's exactly what happens."
He cites PETA's multi-state investigation of Ringling Bros., which includes undercover video footage of animal handlers beating elephants with metal-tipped bull hooks "just moments before they walked onstage".
However, Ringling Bros. spokesman Stephen Payne said the video was from 2009 and lashed out at PETA for distorting their record and for rehashing the footage as he says their practices have improved.
He said: "The health and vitality of our animals is something we can showcase at every Ringling Bros. performance. We invite families everywhere to come and see for themselves how all the animals are thriving at 'The Greatest Show On Earth'. "
Alec is not the first celebrity to speak out about the mistreatment of elephants as Jada Pinkett Smith and Ashley Judd have both expressed their concerns.