Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Break the Chain

Posted: 31 January 2012. Updated: 6 November 2012


It’s time for Americans to step up and ‘Break the Chain’ of circus suffering!

Make the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act a reality.

Contact your Members of Congress now!

You can find sample letters and talking points to help you write a personal letter on our Break the Chain grassroots campaign site.

And you can send an automated email message to your Member of Congress by clicking here

To ‘opt in’ to our Break the Chain Mobile Action Team, and get timely text messages on your cell phone that allow you to react instantly to action on Capitol Hill, text the word CHAIN to the number 55678 (Standard text message fees apply.)

To sign up for our E-news and Action Alerts, email our Los Angeles office at

Become a Break the Chainer and resolve to do at least one thing each week, or get one more person to send a letter to their Member of Congress each week. You can get this bill passed. You can:

  • Distribute ten leaflets to neighbors,friends, colleagues, family to educate them about the issue
  • Get ten friends/family/colleagues to write letters
  • Send a donation to keep the campaign going.

10 Reasons to Support H.R. 3359, Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act

Protection of animals
1. Traveling circuses cannot meet the complex needs of wild animals, due to long, arduous journeys, confinement and social deprivation. It is increasingly difficult to justify this in our advanced society.

2. Making animals do tricks requires extreme physical coercion and violence.

3. Objective scientific measures can determine the well being of a wild animal. Even with the best of intentions, the abnormal pacing, swaying, weaving and bobbing movements that we see in circus animals shows that they are not coping with the hard life on the road.

Safety, health and oversight
4. Traveling circuses pose a serious threat to public safety, as they keep large and wild animals in close proximity to the public. Animals have escaped, workers and the public have been killed and maimed.

5. Diseased animals pose a public health risk. An estimated 12% of captive elephants in North America have tuberculosis (TB), which is contagious and can be passed from elephants to humans.

6. Enforcing the Animal Welfare Act is costly and fraught with difficulties because circuses are constantly on the move, animals and handlers change.

7. Constituents want to see wild animals protected. Like all American businesses, circuses must change with the times to stay relevant and profitable. An educated public prefers humane entertainment and human-only circuses are thriving.

8. The show, and jobs, will go on. Research shows that most circus workers have multiple roles; staff could be retrained as the circus evolves away from exotic animal acts so jobs are not lost.

9. H.R. 3359 will likely be good for the economy and save money. A survey showed that a decline in animal circuses was matched by a rise in human only circuses. So removing wild animal acts could actually increase the circuses’ bottom line.

Ringling Bros. Circus, in a settlement with the USDA, paid out an unprecedented $270,000 penalty related to alleged violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Costly fines, legal fees and animal care expenses will be eliminated with H.R. 3359. Also, taxpayer money dedicated to USDA inspections can be saved. Americans will no longer have to pick up the tab for government licenses and expensive inspections of these animals.

The time has come
10. The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act is a narrowly focused and well reasoned step forward for animal protection and public safety.

Countries such as Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Costa Rica, Singapore, Peru, Bolivia and more than 30 cities in 17 states across the country have taken action to restrict wild animal acts including Southampton, NY, Green Bay, WI, Richmond, MO, and recently Irvine, CA.

H.R. 3359 is an important animal protection measure that will relieve an enormous amount of suffering, save resources and protect people.

Please donate to support this campaign!

ADI is in desperate need of funding to continue with this work. Our investigations provide legislators with the evidence they need to take action.
In 2011, we:

  • Rescued every animal from Bolivia’s circuses
  • Exposed the beatings and electric shocking of elephants at Have Trunk Will Travel
  • Exposed the beating of Anne, the elderly circus elephant
  • Got a ban on wild animal circuses in Peru
  • Launched H.R. 3359, with a massive public education campaign

Please keep our investigators in the field, exposing the abuse and keep our grassroots campaign alive.
Click here to make a donation today!


Kiara’s cubs were the last animals ever to perform in a circus in Bolivia. This picture was taken the day after ADI seized them from the circus. Don’t you want to be looking at a picture of the last ever animal to perform in an American circus?


© Animal Defenders International 2018