Ringling Bros. has a long and well-documented history of abusing animals for profit. The Newark Museum, which receives millions of dollars of taxpayer funding every year, supports Ringling Bros. each year with a program in collaboration with Ringling: :http://www.newarkmuseum.org/circusscience.html
An eight-year-long federal trial against Ringling Bros. (dismissed on a technicality) revealed years of documented abuse towards animals. Among other things, the CEO of Ringling Bros. Kenneth Feld testified that trainers routinely hit elephants. In November 2011, Feld agreed to pay a record $270,000 fine to settle charges that it violated federal animal welfare laws. In one incident logged by inspectors, Banko, an Asian elephant, was required to perform despite pain from probable sand colic. Government inspectors reported in 2008 that wheelbarrows used to carry meat to tigers were also used to transport waste. Inspections also turned up accusations of worn pens and feeding areas, poor medical record-keeping, and failure to control elephants.