Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

Bob Barker and Jorja Fox launch campaign to protect circus animals in Los Angeles

Posted: 31 July 2012. Updated: 21 June 2013

Award-wining host of “The Price is Right,” Bob Barker and CSI actress, Jorja Fox will be among the first Angelenos to sign a petition from Animal Defenders International (ADI) calling for an end to the use of wild animals in traveling circuses in Los Angeles.

The petition calls on Mayor Villaraigosa and City Council to take action to protect wild animals from suffering when the circus comes to town. ADI is working with Councilmember Paul Koretz and has been presenting evidence to City Councilmembers, explaining results of years of undercover investigations and studies of animals in traveling circuses. The findings detail the need to restrict the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling circuses within the city to protect both animals and the public.

Bob Barker and Jorja Fox are giving voice to a cause that concerns many in the community. A huge public outcry greeted the opening of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey animal shows earlier this month, with hundreds of citizens protesting against animal suffering in traveling circuses.

Bob Barker has written to Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council and spoke about his determination to help circus animals: \"Along with many Los Angeles residents, I am urging the City Council to end the use of performing wild animals in our City. I have seen how these animals suffer from the deprivation and brutality of a life of constant travel, being forced to perform silly tricks for human entertainment. The stress these animals endure make them dangerous when out in public."

Jorja Fox explained how "Los Angelenos are compassionate and educated about the needs of wild animals and will be saddened to know how these animals suffer in traveling circuses. Deprived of their natural existence, the violence, suffering and stress presents a danger for both animals and people. The safe and humane thing for the City Council to do is to bring an end to the outdated and cruel practice of performing wild animals in traveling circuses in our beautiful and creative City. Such suffering does not belong in a modern, civilized society."

Over 450 Angelenos have already signed ADI’s petition which urges the Mayor and Los Angeles City Council Members to restrict the use of wild animals (exotics and non-domestics) in traveling circuses. Under the heading, “Los Angeles is wild about wild animals. Support the ban!” the petition cites the following key reasons:

Animal Welfare

  • Traveling circuses cannot meet the physical, psychological or behavioral needs of wild animals, which suffer severe confinement, social deprivation, long periods of time in transporters, brutal control methods and physical violence.
  • Fear, intimidation, violence, emotional deprivation and withholding food, forces animals to perform.

Public Health and Safety

  • Keeping large, dangerous, stressed wild animals in close proximity to the public in lightweight, temporary enclosures have proven disastrous. Workers and public have been killed and maimed; lions, tigers and elephants have all escaped.
  • Around 12% of Asian and 2% of African elephants in North America have tuberculosis, which is transmissible to humans.

Enforcement

  • Enforcement of animal welfare regulations is difficult as circuses are constantly moving; this justifies a restriction.

Economics

  • Circuses must change with the times. Human only circuses are thriving. Cirque du Soleil generates an estimated $810 million a year, whereas the Piccadilly Circus wild animal show canceled performances due to poor ticket sales.
  • Circus workers perform multiple roles; staff can be retrained, so jobs are not lost. In fact, some surveys show that a decline in animal circuses can be matched by a rise in circuses with human performers, creating jobs.

ADI President, Jan Creamer, “Los Angeles is the home of global entertainment, it creates extraordinary and inspiring stories that remind us all about the compassion and humanity we are capable of showing to those who are different from ourselves. Like many cities around the world, it is time for Los Angeles to say ‘no more’ to these traveling wild animal shows. They belong to a time when we didn’t understand the language and emotions of other species. That excuse has gone. It’s time for the entertainment capital of the world to stand up and take the lead.”

ADI undercover investigations of animal circuses have shown how circus animals are controlled through fear and are routinely whipped, beaten with bullhooks and electric shocked behind the scenes. ADI’s observations show that tigers and lions spend between 75 and 99% of their time in severely cramped cages and elephants spend between 58 and 98% of their time chained by at least one leg.

ADI is circulating the petition among L.A. residents and will be presenting it to the City Council.

--Ends--
NOTES TO MEDIA:
For more information please contact:
Matt Rossell Animal Defenders International 323-804-9920

ADI leads the Break the Chain campaign, network of animal protection organizations across the U.S., gaining grassroots support for the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 3359), which currently has 23 co-sponsors and is awaiting a hearing in the House Committee on Agriculture subcommittee of Livestock, Dairy and Poultry.

ADI investigators have studied animal circuses in the US and around the world over the past twenty years, producing comprehensive reports including scientific evidence of suffering caused by capture and transport, direct evidence from case studies, and legal analysis.

To find out more information on ADI’s work visit http://www.ad-international.org

And on the Break the Chain campaign, visit http://www.breakthechainus.org

For more information about the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (H.R. 3359) visit http://www.federalcircusbill.org

Local restrictions: Currently, over 30 cities and counties in 17 states in the US have restricted the use of animals in traveling shows including Southampton, NY, Green Bay, WI, Richmond, MO, and most recently Irvine, CA. These restrictions vary between full prohibition on performing animals, or wild animals, or specific species.

City and local government bans have been instituted on performing animals in traveling circuses in many countries around the world, including the UK (over 200), Australia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Ireland, Spain, Canada, and others.

National restrictions on performing animals in traveling circuses, either wild or all animals, have been enacted in 21 countries, including Austria, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Poland, Portugal, Peru, Singapore, Sweden and Taiwan. Countries currently discussing restrictions include the UK, Brazil, the US and Germany. (As of June 20, 2013).

Animal Defenders International
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues.

http://www.ad-international.org

More information is available on ADI’s U.S. website: http://adiusa.org

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