ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Animal rights activists say they disagree with the dismissal of a lawsuit against a Florida-based circus by a federal judge this week.
The suit, which dated back to July 2000, charged Ringling Bros. and Barnum-and-Bailey Circus with mistreating its elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that a key plaintiff witness, former circus employee Tom Rider was not credible since he had been paid by the animal activists for public outreach work.
The plaintiffs told the Orlando Sentinel they were disappointed with the ruling and disagreed with Sullivan's conclusions.
The Sentinel said Wednesday that the wrangling between Ringling and the animal-rights groups was not over. The same plaintiffs filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month alleging mistreatment of the circus elephants. Ringling Bros. sued the activists for racketeering in 2007. That case will be presided over by the same judge.