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RINGLING CIRCUS AGREES TO $270K FINE BY USDA

VIENNA, Va. -- The owner of the Ringling Bros. circus has agreed to pay a $270,000 fine to settle allegations that it violated federal animal-welfare laws in its handling of elephants, tigers, zebras and other exotic animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the civil penalty announced Monday is the largest ever assessed against an animal exhibitor under the Animal Welfare Act. Vienna-based Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus and other well-known acts such as Disney on Ice, said it does not admit to violating the law and agreed to the settlement as a cost of doing business to resolve its differences with the USDA.

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