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Ringling Brothers and critics discuss decision to phase out elephants




Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey elephants Bunny, Susie and Minnie line up in front of a table full of hot dog buns July 2, 2010 in Coney Island, New York.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey elephants Bunny, Susie and Minnie line up in front of a table full of hot dog buns July 2, 2010 in Coney Island, New York.
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

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Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced today that it's winding down its elephant acts by 2018.

Animal rights activists have long criticized how the animals have been treated. Some cities, like Los Angeles, have passed bans on bull hooks and other devices to guide and control elephants. Circus elephants have a long history, but heavy criticism of the animals' treatment appears to have brought the acts to an end.  Sea World is also dealing with public scorn for its use of trained orcas. Are animal acts going the way of the wolf boy and bearded lady?

Guests:

Stephen Payne, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Feld Entertainment

Catherine Doyle, director of science, research, and advocacy for the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).