Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Bridgeport, Connecticut, passes wild animal circus ban

Posted: 6 November 2018. Updated: 7 November 2018

Animal Defenders International (ADI) applauds the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, whose City Council last night unanimously voted to ban wild and exotic animal circus acts.

The second city in the state, after Stamford, to pass such a ban, the ruling is especially significant because Bridgeport is where PT Barnum lived, was mayor, and is buried. He also kept his circus animals in the city during winter.

ADI supported the historic measure sponsored by Councilmember Kyle Langan and Councilmember Marcus Brown, and cosponsored by Councilmembers Denese Taylor-Moye, Jeanette Herron, Pete Spain, Michelle Lyons, Eneida Martinez, and Karen Jackson.

Jan Creamer, President of ADI, said: “We are thrilled that Bridgeport has chosen to move with the times and ban the use of wild animals in circuses. We hope other states will follow its lead to protect animals and the public across the United States.”

Langan added: “As the home of PT Barnum, we’ve taken a symbolic step that proclaims we’ve learned from the past and emphatically decided to move forward in a more progressive and compassionate way. Thank you to ADI and all the advocates who supported us along the way.”

Studies and evidence show that the health and welfare of animals in traveling circuses is inevitably compromised due to necessarily small, barren, mobile accommodations, restricted movement, long journeys, and excessive periods of time spent in transporters and containers. Training methods are brutal - ADI undercover investigations have documented systemic violence and abuse, occurring in the US and worldwide.

Proving that attitudes are changing with the times, American audiences have been turning away from animal circuses in droves; several have closed, including Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, while others have gone animal-free and thrived. Including Bridgeport, 88 jurisdictions in 31 states have taken action to restrict wild animals from traveling circuses. New York City and San Francisco both have bans on wild animal circus acts; Los Angeles is working on a ban as well.

Other states are also considering bans on wild animal circus acts, with both New Jersey and Hawaii very close to a statewide ban. A federal bill to end the use of wild and exotic animals in traveling shows nationwide – the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA/H.R.1759) – is gaining bipartisan support in the US House. Around the world, 45 countries have passed national restrictions on the use of animals in traveling circuses.

Media Contacts:

US: Lesley McCave, ADI Communications Director | (323) 935-2234 or (323) 804-9920 |

UK: Devon Prosser, Press Officer | 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548 |

© Animal Defenders International 2019