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.


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


Chrissie R
Chrissie R5 months ago

Thank you for posting

Marija M
Marija M5 months ago

Ann B. - agree with you.

Ann B
Ann B5 months ago


Ruth R
Ruth R7 months ago

Thank You!

Peggy B
Peggy B7 months ago


Ellie M
Ellie M8 months ago


Aaron F
Past Member 8 months ago

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

Kelsey S
Kelsey S8 months ago

The link to sign the petition is wrong. Just remove the "" at the beginning (so, the link starts at and you'll be redirected. Signed

Sheila Miller
Sheila M9 months ago

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

William C
William C10 months ago