Here’s What You Can Do This Week to Help Put an End to Circus Suffering

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:
  • 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.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Christine Jones
Christine J8 months ago


Christine Jones
Christine J8 months ago


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Valerie A.
Valerie A1 years ago


Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe2 years ago

Petition already signed, but I wish I could sign it a million more times!!

Nimue P.

Petition signed. Thanks.

Stella Gambardella
Stella G2 years ago

Ho firmato a suo tempo la petizione. Quello che mi chiedo è come una persona che si qualifica civile possa accettare questi spettacoli, ignorano cosa succede alle bestiole per riuscire a raggiungere determinati esercizi? Forse, ma basta poco per capire quanto sia innaturale per gli animali tutto questo. Penso all'Italia in cui i circhi con gli animali sono addirittura sovvenzionati dallo stato, che vergogna per noi!

Stella Gambardella
Stella G2 years ago

la petizione l'ho firmata a suo tempo. Quello che continuo a chiedermi è come si possano accettare simili spettacoli in una società civile, a parte alcune eccezioni, siamo veramente civili?

Carole R.
Carole R2 years ago

Signed and supported.
I hate the circus.

Berty Jardine
Berty Jardine2 years ago

Why are humans so clueless to our fellow creatures?