This July 21-25, Animal Defenders International (ADI) is urging animal lovers to speak up on behalf of wild and exotic animals who are used in entertainment for a Week of Action to Stop Circus Suffering.
Earlier this year Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) reintroduced the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA), which would amend the Animal Welfare Act to ban the use of wild and exotic animals used in traveling circuses.
According to ADI, which is supporting the bill, there are an estimated 300 wild and exotic animals in U.S. circuses today. Unfortunately for them, life consists of barren enclosures, long journeys and violent abuse behind the scenes to get them to act as performers in the name of entertainment.
Research, numerous undercover investigations and news reports have all exposed the problems that come with keeping large, exotic animals this way. Not only does it leave them suffering with physical and psychological problems, but their use also poses a threat to public safety. According to the Animal Welfare Institute, there have been over 30 serious incidents since 2000 that include the deaths of both animals and trainers and injuries to audience members.
Knowing what we know now about the complex nature and intelligence of animals, there’s no longer any excuse to keep exploiting them in this type of environment just so a few can make a profit.
While there are a patchwork of local and state laws banning wild animals and cruel training tools, the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses needs to be addressed on a federal level because their mobility makes it difficult for law enforcement and inspectors to follow up on incidents and violations of the Animal Welfare Act, of which there have been many.
Take Part in the Week of Action to Stop Circus Suffering
In an effort to change the future for wild and exotic animals who are used in circuses and get more support from our lawmakers before Congress breaks, ADI is urging us to flood our reps with calls and emails urging them to support and co-sponsor the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 4525). Here are a few easy things we can do this week:
- Send a polite email to your Representative (find them here) asking them to support and co-sponsor TEAPA.
- Make a quick call to the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Representative’s office to ask for their support. If you need tips for your call, check here. (Please don’t call your Senator right now as a companion bill in the Senate has not yet been introduced.)
- Let ADI know what kind of response you got by emailing them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Last but not least, if you haven’t already please also sign and share the petition urging Congress to take a stand for animal welfare and public safety by passing TEAPA.
For more information on how to get involved, visit ADI’s Stop Circus Suffering campaign.
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