PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Pace University students of the Environmental Policy Clinic became part of the tipping point that forced Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to announce that it will end its iconic elephant acts by 2018.
Students of the Pace Environmental Policy Clinic recently produced a heart-wrenching video about the brutal treatment of circus elephants last Fall.
“Ringling’s action is an important start,” said Michelle Land, director of Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, which founded and operates the clinic. “But its new policy should not be limited to elephant acts. It is time to halt the entire practice of using large ranging animals, including lions and tigers, for human entertainment."
Communications student Carlos Villamayor Ledesma commented on his involvement with the clinic.
“I am happy and thankful that the Clinic gave me the chance to learn that with teamwork and the right skills, we can have an impact on the real world,” said Villamayor Ledesma. “The Ringling decision proves it.”
Psychology major and Clinic student Nadya Hall expressed a similar sentiment.
"It was the hard work of thousands of individuals and organizations (like Pace University) who believe in ending the use of wild animals for entertainment. This milestone is an example of the power we have to change the world we live in, and should serve as a foundation for future pursuits of justice."
Land’s research and model legislation are now the basis for a New York State bill to prevent the use of exotic animals in traveling circuses, sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.
Clinic students, under the supervision of Professors John Cronin and Andrew Revkin, created the video and used social media to educate others about the history and tortured life of circus animals.