The circus is falling out of favor with the American public and for good reason: behind the curtain, animals are abused simply to perform demeaning tricks like tigers jumping through rings of fire or elephants performing headstands.

Crammed into cages and box cars so small they can barely turn around, elephants and tigers spend most of their time traveling around the country. Other times, they are whipped or hit with bullhooks in the middle of a circus ring.

This cruelty is unacceptable and California has a chance to change this.

If you live in California*, please contact Governor Gavin Newsom and respectfully urge him to sign SB 313, banning the use of wild animals in performances.

  • Phone: (916) 445-2841 

Not sure what to say? No worries. Feel free to use the prepared calling script below!

Hi, my name is _____ and I live at ________. I’m calling because I care about animals and am urging Governor Gavin Newsom to sign SB 313, which would ban animals in circuses throughout California. Animals are cruelly abused in circuses and the public is shifting away from using animals for entertainment. California has a chance to be a leader on animal welfare by signing SB 313.

What else can I do?

In addition to calling, you can increase your impact by customizing the letter below and sending it to California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Dear Governor Gavin Newsom,

As your constituent, I’m urging you to sign SB 313 which prohibits animals being used in circuses.

Animals used for entertainment like circuses endure immense cruelty for minutes of entertainment. Elephants don’t wear tutus or stand on their heads. Bears don’t ride bicycles or walk tightropes. Tigers don’t naturally jump through rings of fire. These tricks are the result of cruel training methods.

To be trained for circus tricks, elephants are torn from their mothers’ sides at an early age and are inflicted with pain. The babies have ropes tied around their legs and forced into unnatural positions all while being painfully jabbed with bullhooks or other sharp instruments. During performances, the elephant trainers carry bullhooks, often concealed from the public’s eye but visible to elephants, to remind the animals of human dominance. This is why California has already banned the use of bullhooks, a great step toward ending animal abuse in our state.

With an instinctual fear of fire, big cats are trained through abusive methods to jump through flaming rings. When being transported throughout the country, tigers are kept in cages barely larger than the length of their bodies, just big enough so they can turn around. In fact, most of these animals’ lives are in these cages, where they consistently pace back and forth due to psychological distress.

Circuses don’t need animals to be profitable. Human performers, like those in Circus Vargas, Circus Smirkus, and Cirque du Soleil, are more thrilling and entertaining than any circus with animals. These circuses, unlike Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, will continue to not just survive, but thrive because they are evolving with the times.

California must take a stand and join states like Hawaii and New Jersey in banning the use of animals in entertainment. Please sign SB 313.


A Concerned Animal Lover Constituent

Send your letter now

California must take a stand and join states like Hawaii and New Jersey in banning the use of animals in entertainment. Please support SB 313 by sending a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom today.

*Please note: This action alert is for California residents ONLY. If you are not a California resident, please visit our Take Action page for other ways to help animals today.

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