Bill Introduced to House to End Circus Animal Abuse
June 11, 2019
On May 21, 2019, Arizona representatives Raúl Grijalva and David Schweikert reintroduced the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA). This bill would amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the use of exotic or wild animal in a traveling animal performance.
Exotic animals like lions, tigers, bears, and elephants have been used as entertainers for human enjoyment since the early 1900’s. Research and investigation of animal traveling performances have provided clear evidence that not only is animal welfare compromised, but also public safety. Animals used in traveling shows are withheld of the care and freedom they deserve, compromising their physical and mental health. The animals frequently move around for 11 months of the year with little time to exercise, being limited to small, confined areas unable to move around. When they are not in small cages, they are ‘training’ and performing. Under these conditions, wild instincts emerge and the animals are mistreated and punished.
Not only are traveling shows with wild animals a danger to the animals, but they also create major safety concerns for the general public. Traveling animal performances use collapsible, temporary facilities, which increase the risk of escape and serious harm to every party involved. They present extreme safety risks by allowing contact and displaying animals in an inappropriate and dangerous closeness to humans.
Across the world, 45 nations have prohibited wild animal performances. In the US 32 states, and 92 jurisdictions have banned or restricted the use of wild animals in traveling shows. Two states have completely banned traveling animal acts, they are New Jersey and Hawaii.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Contact your state’s representatives and encourage them to support the bill. According to the president of Animal Defenders International, Jan Creamer, the bill needs 100-150 cosponsors in Congress. You can send your representative an email by clicking here. You can also avoid going to traveling animal shows. If you are wanting to go to a circus animal-free circuses are around.