"Elephants in Circuses: Analysis of practice, Policy and Future" by G. A. Bradshaw, Ph.D., addresses the history, use and treatment of elephants captured or bred for use in U.S. circuses. Dr. Bradshaw is a national expert on animal behavior in general and elephants in particular, whose research focuses on the effects of trauma on elephants.
In this paper, Dr. Bradshaw describes how captivity, transport and training affect the physical and mental well-being of elephants and outlines how such trauma and stress are manifested. She also gives an overview of current U.S. law pertaining to captive elephants, including the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act. She concludes that "current understanding of elephant psychobiology, ethology and ecology indicates that existing standards regulating the care and health of elephants in captivity are highly inadequate and require revision," and recommends that elephants used for entertainment be transferred to sanctuaries for appropriate care.
The ASI encourages anyone interested in promoting the well-being of captive elephants to obtain a copy of this paper and use it to educate legislators and other policy makers to make meaningful and immediate changes to the way in which elephants are used in this country. The cost is only $10 for ASI members and $15 for nonmembers.