Huge Bill That Would Ban Wild Animals in Circuses is Back

Animal advocates are hopeful that using wild animals in circuses could soon come to an end in the U.S. with the reintroduction of legislation that would ban the practice once and for all.

Rep. Ryan Costello and Rep. Raul Grijalva have just reintroduced the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (H.R. 6342), which would end the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses, over concerns about both their welfare and the safety risks they pose to us.

“The captivity of exotic animals has proven over the years to be torturous to some of the most majestic creatures on Earth, and downright dangerous for the people who come to see them,” Rep. Grijalva said in a statement. “A growing public understanding of the detrimental impacts on animals and the risks posed to attendees has already changed the face of circuses in America. It is imperative that we meet the call to end this practice once and for all.”

While wild animals have been used in circuses for decades, we now know so much more about what they need to be physically and psychologically healthy and the evidence shows that traveling circuses can never meet these needs, even with the best of intentions.

Despite defenses of their continued use, research, multiple undercover investigations and media reports have all exposed not only the problems inherent with keeping wild animals in circuses, but also the heartbreaking abuses they’re subjected to behind the scenes  …or right out in the open.

Their exploitation also puts the safety of humans in jeopardy. There have been numerous serious incidents involving the deaths of animals and trainers, and injuries to members of the public.

According to Animal Defenders International, which is supporting this bill, 66 jurisdictions across 27 states in the U.S. have already taken action to either ban or seriously restrict the use of wild animals in performances. Supporters of this bill argue that the issue needs to be addressed on a federal level, because the mobile nature of circuses makes it difficult for law enforcement and inspectors to follow up on incidents and violations of the Animal Welfare Act. This leaves officials virtually incapable of doing anything meaningful to ensure the well-being of animals, or the safety of the public.

There shouldn’t be anything entertaining about watching some of the earth’s most magnificent animals being reduced to jokes as they’re forced to perform ridiculous and uncomfortable tricks for nothing more than profit and our fleeting amusement.  It’s long past time to make the U.S. next to join 34 nations around the world that have already ended this practice.

TAKE ACTION!

You can show your support for this critical legislation by signing and sharing the petition asking Congress to pass the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act

For more on how to help animals in circuses, check out Stop Circus Suffering.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

134 comments

Ruth R
Ruth R9 days ago

Thank You!

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Peggy B
Peggy B26 days ago

NOTED

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Ellie M
Ellie M28 days ago

ty

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Aaron F
Aaron F28 days ago

Much progress has been made since 22 Nov, 2016...

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Kelsey S
Kelsey S29 days ago

The link to sign the petition is wrong. Just remove the "www.care2.com/causes" at the beginning (so, the link starts at www.thepetitionsite.com) and you'll be redirected. Signed

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Sheila Miller
Sheila M2 months ago

Wild animals should not be use in circuses or as entertainment in any form.

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William C
William C3 months ago

Thanks.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill10 months ago

Since Ringling Bros. has announced they are closing, is this really necessary?

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Susan H
Susan H10 months ago

Thank you. Sharing.

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Melania P
Melania P10 months ago

Enough! And they call themselves a civilized country? Having wild animals in captivity and/or circuses is so Neanderthal!

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