UNDATED (CNN) -- Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus has been slapped with a big fine relating to their treatment of elephants.
The USDA is behind the sanctions.
The company must pay $270,000 in penalties. Feld Entertainment Inc., which produces the shows, admits no wrongdoing.
But it agreed to implement new training protocols for any circus employees who handle animals.
The settlement comes after a federal appeals court dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animal Protection Institute.
The lawsuit claimed that the circus is in violation of the Endangered Species Act and that it systematically abuses and exploits elephants by using metal bullhooks to guide and control the animals as well as chaining their legs while they are not performing.