Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Whitemarsh Township, PA, passes ban on traveling wild animal acts

Posted: 24 September 2019. Updated: 24 September 2019

Animal Defenders International (ADI) applauds the township of Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania, whose Board of Supervisors last night unanimously voted to ban wild and exotic animal circus acts.

Following similar bans in Pittsburgh and Sharpsburg, the ban affects the six cities incorporated in the township, including Plymouth Meeting, where the LuLu Circus is held every year.

ADI and local advocate Gigi Glendinning met with and supplied evidence to the township board in support of a ban.

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

Glendinning added: “I am beyond thrilled with the board’s decision to end these cruel and dangerous animal acts. For years I have witnessed the inhumane treatment of the animals forced to perform at the LuLu Shrine Circus and despite my efforts to educate the Shriners, they continued to disregard the facts and put the animals, and the community, at risk.”

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 Whitemarsh Township, more than 90 jurisdictions in 32 states have taken action to restrict the use of wild animals in traveling circuses. New York City and San Francisco both have bans on wild animal circus acts, and the California legislature approved a statewide ban this month.

Other states are also considering bans on wild animal circus acts. In Pennsylvania, Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D-Chester/Montgomery) and 33 cosponsors are behind the bill HB996, which seeks to ban wild animal circus acts throughout the state, while 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.2863/S.2121) – is gaining bipartisan support. Around the world, 46 countries have passed national restrictions on the use of animals in traveling circuses.

Media contacts:
Lesley McCave, ADI Communications Director: (323) 935-2234/(323) 804-9920, or

Angie Greenaway, 020 7630 3344 or 07785 552548

© Animal Defenders International 2019