Animal groups agree to pay nearly $16M to Ringling

WASHINGTON (AP) — The parent company of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus says it has received a nearly $16 million settlement from the Humane Society of the United States and other animal-rights groups that filed a frivolous lawsuit against them.

The lawsuits in federal court in Washington have dragged on for more than a decade. In 2012, a judge said the case, alleging abusive treatment of elephants, was frivolous and forced the circus’ owner, Vienna, Virginia-based Feld Entertainment, to spend millions in legal fees.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals already agreed separately to pay more than $9 million to settle.

Feld issued a statement saying Thursday’s final settlement is a vindication of its practices.

A Humane Society spokeswoman says a statement will be released Thursday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up