Tigers, elephants, and other wild animals are still being forced to perform unnatural and painful tricks in circuses and traveling acts across the US. These animals spend most of their time in cramped, barren cages. They are deprived of the ability to engage in their natural behaviors, resulting in severe physical and psychological suffering.
Wild animals belong in the wild, not in tents filled with bright lights and loud noises. The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act would amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the use of wild animals in traveling circuses and acts. The bill is sponsored by Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) and David Schweikert (AZ-06) in the House of Representatives and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in the Senate.
End Circus Cruelty
Wild animals don’t enjoy performing stunts. “Trainers” must coerce animals to perform through abusive methods including physical violence, sedation, restraints, and the withholding of food. To cope with their stressful environments, wild animals in traveling acts frequently display stereotypies—repetitive, purposeless behaviors or sounds such as pacing, head bobbing, screaming, licking of non-food objects, and gnawing on bars.
Dangerous for Animals and Humans
Using wild animals in traveling acts is also a serious public safety risk. No matter how long they’ve been held in captivity, wild animals are unpredictable and difficult to safely constrain—especially for traveling shows that use portable and temporary equipment. Year after year escaped wild animals injure or even kill members of the public or traveling act staff.
The closing of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey in 2017 was a major step forward for animals used in performances, but there’s still work to do. We can ensure that no more wild animals endure circus cruelty.
Stand up for wild animals used in traveling acts by sending a message to your federal legislators urging them to co-sponsor the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act.