Animal Defenders International

National Anti-vivisection SocietyLord Dowding Fund for humane research

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Animal Defenders International

Petition to end the use of wild animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions in the US

8061 people have signed this petition so far

We the undersigned urge Congress to pass The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act, which will amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling performances, for the following reasons:

  • Traveling circuses are detrimental to animal welfare, due to the adverse effects of captivity and transport. Severe confinement, lack of free exercise, and the restriction of natural behaviors cause these animals to suffer, leaving them prone to health, behavioral, and psychological problems.
  • The tricks that animals are forced to perform require extreme physical coercion, including the restriction of food and water, the use of bull hooks (a bar with a metal hook on the end), electric shocks, clubs, whips, and other forms of physical abuse.
  • Animals in traveling circuses pose a risk to public safety. Exotic and wild species retain their wild instincts and are often unpredictable; the use of collapsible, temporary facilities in traveling circuses increases the risk of escape and serious harm to workers and the public; animals are displayed in dangerously close proximity to the public, in areas that are not appropriate for the display of such animals.
  • Due to the mobile and transitory nature of traveling circuses, law enforcement authorities cannot properly monitor the conditions of the animals or follow up on previous infractions. Restricting the use of animals in circuses is the most cost-effective and efficient way to safeguard both animal welfare and public safety.

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