Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

ADI awards Congressman Jim Moran the 2014 Animal Champion Award for his dedication to end animal suf

Posted: 18 December 2014. Updated: 18 December 2014

Los Angeles – Retiring Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) has been awarded the Animal Champion Award by Animal Defenders International (ADI) in recognition of his tireless animal protection work, especially his efforts to end the use of wild animals in circuses in the United States. Earlier this year Moran announced that, after 23 years as a member of the House of Representatives, he would not seek re-election.

Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) said “It is an honor to receive the Animal Champion Award and a privilege to work with ADI on landmark animal protection measures. We need to end the use of wild animals in our traveling circuses and bring the United States in line with thirty nations who have already had the sense to act on this issue. Change is possible, and together we can end the terrible suffering of animals.”

ADI President Jan Creamer, speaking from Peru where ADI is assisting the Peruvian Government with the enforcement of its ban on wild animal acts said “Rep. Jim Moran has been a wonderful voice for the animals in Congress and a truly deserving recipient of our Animal Champion Award. Thank you Rep. Moran for your outstanding work to improve the lives of animals, especially those languishing in US circuses. We have no doubt that as we persevere, TEAPA will be passed and that will be another very fitting tribute to the work of Rep. Moran.”

Congressman Moran has been a remarkable advocate for animals throughout his career; as chair of the Animal Protection Caucus, he’s helped to enact bans on animal fighting, horse slaughter, animal abuse videos and the sale of cat and dog fur.

He has worked closely with ADI, twice introducing the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA) which seeks to eliminate the use of wild animals in US circuses. Congressman Moran appears in ADI’s award-winning film LION ARK, launching TEAPA with legendary The Price is Right host Bob Barker, CSI star Jorja Fox, and ADI President Jan Creamer. TEAPA enjoys growing support and Rep. Moran’s legacy will live on when TEAPA is reintroduced in the next Congress.

Moran also introduced the Humane Cosmetics Act this year, which seeks to end the use of animals in cosmetic testing within the US and prohibit the import of cosmetics where either the ingredients or final product have been tested on animals. If passed, it would bring the US in line with the European Union, which has banned such practices.

If passed, TEAPA would prevent animals being kept in temporary facilities for extended periods, put a stop to the cruel training and control methods employed by circuses industry-wide, and address serious worker and public safety issues. With TEAPA, the US would join 30 countries around the world that have passed similar legislation, including Mexico, which passed its ban on wild animal acts last week.

ADI is currently working with authorities in Peru and Colombia as they enforce their wild animal circus bans. ADI’s Operation Spirit of Freedom mission in South America has rescued 30 lions and 10 monkeys to date.

ADI previously rescued 29 lions and other animals after Bolivia banned animal circus acts. The dramatic rescue is charted in the multi-award winning film Lion Ark.


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

Interviews and images / footage of animals in circuses is available on request

Help care for the animals saved by ADI and bring them to sanctuary

Operation Spirit of Freedom video and information

Lion Ark film

US circuses:
ADI estimates that around 300 wild animals tour the US with circuses, and its investigations have observed:
- Brown bears caged for 90% of their time in small cages in the back of a trailer. The animals are dressed in costumes, muzzled and forced to ride motorcycles, walk on their front paws and play basketball.
- Elephants routinely chained by two legs for the majority of their time, barely able to take one step forward and one back; and elephants controlled with bullhooks and stun guns.
- In March 2014, three circus elephants escaped for 45 minutes from a circus in Missouri and rampaged through the parking lot, damaging vehicles. One of the elephants previously escaped from another circus in 2010. (Such public safety hazards are frequent in traveling circuses.)
- In June 2014, ADI released footage showing circus workers frantically trying to control elephants as they run amok in Orem, Utah. The trainers fail to contain them as one elephant ignores the groom’s blows and charges into another, easily driving the other (2-ton) elephant backwards.
- Monkeys living in tiny cages in the back of a camper, forced to wear costumes, collars and leashes, and to perform tricks.
- Bengal tigers and African lions spending approximately 22 hours a day in cages on the backs of trucks, which allow only a few paces to exercise.

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 30 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, Malta, Mexico, Taiwan and The Netherlands. Similar laws are under discussion in the UK, Brazil and Chile.

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.

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