Reasons to Support H.R. 3359, the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA)
Traveling circuses cannot meet the complex needs of wild animals. Animals in traveling circuses endure confinement, physical and social deprivation, long, grueling journeys, brutal control methods and physical violence.
No amount of expensive regulation will protect a wild animal in a traveling circus from a life of ongoing deprivation, such as an elephant chained by the leg for hours on end or a tiger confined for months to a tiny cage.
The tricks that these animals are forced to perform require extreme physical coercion and violence. Years of undercover investigations reveal that the training tools of the trade include bullhooks, (a heavy bar with a sharpened point and hook) stun guns and other electric prods, metal bars, whips, deprivation of food and water and intimidation.
Traveling circuses pose a serious threat to public safety. Keeping wild animals confined under duress in dangerously close proximity to the public in lightweight, temporary enclosures has proven disastrous. Circus workers, and members of the public, including children, have been killed and maimed by circus animals, and lions, tigers and elephants have all escaped.
Constituents want to see wild animals protected. Circuses, like all American businesses, have to change with the times to stay relevant and profitable. An educated public prefers to see humane entertainment and human only circuses, like Cirque du Soleil, are thriving.
Taxpayer money dedicated to costly USDA inspections will be saved for use elsewhere and Americans will no longer have to pick up the tab for government licenses and expensive inspections of these animals.
Countries such as Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Costa Rica, Singapore, Peru, Bolivia and more than 30 cities in 17 states across the country have taken action to ban wild animals from traveling circuses including Southampton, NY, Green Bay, WI, Richmond, MO, and most recently Irvine, CA..
H.R. 3359 is an important animal protection measure that will relieve an enormous amount of suffering, will save resources and protect people.
For more information please visit www.breakthechainus.org
The current research--undercover video and photographic evidence--show clearly that traveling circuses cannot provide the proper living conditions for these exotic animals. Wild, stressed animals in close quarters with the public have proven to be a public safety hazard, and no amount of costly government oversight can prevent accidents and physical abuse, not can oversight protect wild animals traveling for months on end in small, temporary accommodations.
Dozens of municipalities in the U.S. and countries around the world have taken similar steps to protect wild animals in circuses. Please act now to support and cosponsor this practical and reasonable protection for animals. The enormous popularity of contemporary circuses like Cirque du Soleil proves that the show will go on without abused animals.