Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI holds Week of Action Against Circus Suffering

Posted: 18 July 2014. Updated: 18 July 2014

Animal Defenders International holds week of action asking the public to urge members of Congress to co-sponsor the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act.

July 18, 2014, LOS ANGELES, CA – Animal Defenders International (ADI) is asking the public to participate in its Week of Action Against Circus Suffering from July 21st – 25th, 2014.

ADI is encouraging groups and individuals across the US to flood Congress with calls and emails urging their Representatives to support and co-sponsor H.R. 4525, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA), a landmark federal bill introduced by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) that aims to protect elephants, tigers, bears and other wild animals from being forced to perform in traveling circuses by prohibiting their use.

ADI President, Jan Creamer, said: “Due to the very nature of the traveling circus, wild animals live their whole lives chained or tied up, or in small cages that fit on the back of a truck. Violence to control animals is part of circus culture; animals are beaten, whipped and electric shocked to make them perform tricks. This brutality has no place in modern society. Please help these magnificent animals by urging your Congressional Representatives to co-sponsor the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act.”

TEAPA aims to end the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses, due to the unavoidable suffering caused by the very nature of the traveling show: small, mobile and temporary facilities, restriction of movement, barren environments and long, arduous journeys.

The restricted facilities, and the nature of the acts the animals are forced to perform, also increases the amount of handling and control required of wild animals leading to the physical abuse that has been caught on film in circuses around the world, including in the United States.

The Bill would see the United States join almost 30 diverse countries that have already passed similar legislation including Austria, Belgium, Greece, India, Bolivia, Colombia and Panama. Others, including Great Britain, Brazil and Mexico, are currently considering legislation – with the British Prime Minister recently promising that a ban would be passed in the next 12 months.

Members of the public can find out more and take part in the Week of Action Against Circus Suffering by visiting and on Twitter using #TEAPA #HR4525



Film and photographs of animals in circuses are available from ADI.

Lori De Waal 323-462-4122
ADI Media Desk: 323-804-9920 e:

The Week of Action Against Circus Suffering will be held from July 21st through July 25th, 2014.
Twitter: #TEAPA #HR4525

About 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 behind-the-scenes suffering in the industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals and educates the public.

Background – worldwide movement to end use of wild animals in traveling shows
The evidence that the suffering caused to wild animals by the constant travel, severe restrictions on movement and unnatural lifestyle has prompted authorities and governments around the world to end their use.

In the United States, 45 cities/counties in 21 states have taken action to restrict wild animals from traveling circuses. And around the world, hundreds of local ordinances are in place, including in the UK, Europe, and South America.

National restrictions on performing animals in traveling circuses, either wild or all animals, have been enacted in 27 countries – Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, and Taiwan. Similar laws are under discussion in the UK, Brazil, Chile, Malta, Mexico and The Netherlands.

Whether it is a traveling circus, or travel from county show to county show, the confinement for the animals is the same:

  • Traveling circuses cannot meet the physical, psychological or behavioral needs of wild animals, due to severe confinement, physical and social deprivation, long periods of time in transporters, with brutal control methods and physical violence.
  • It is a myth that wild animals are trained with kindness and reward; the tools of the trade include stun guns and other electric prods, metal bars, whips, bullhooks (a heavy bar with a sharpened point and hook), deprivation of food and water and intimidation.
  • Keeping stressed, large and dangerous wild animals close to the public in lightweight, temporary enclosures has proven disastrous. Workers and members of the public have been killed and maimed; lions, tigers and elephants have all escaped.
  • It is estimated that around 12% of Asian and 2% of African elephants in North America have tuberculosis (TB), a disease transmissible from elephants to humans.
  • Because of the traveling nature of the circus, animal welfare officers have difficulties with protecting the animals, inspections and associated time and costs. This justifies a restriction, for the protection of the animals and the public.
  • Circuses must change with the times. Human only circuses are thriving. Cirque du Soleil now has 19 shows in 271 cities, generating an estimated $810 million a year. Whereas the wild animal traveling show, Piccadilly Circus, recently canceled performances across Southern California due to poor ticket sales.
  • Circus workers perform multiple roles; staff can be retrained, so jobs are not lost. Circus Vargas removed their animal acts and the business continues. Surveys have shown that a decline in animal circuses can be matched by a rise in circuses with human performers.

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