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BOB GOODLATTE – create new legislation. TOM VILSACK – increase the enforcement of the AWA as well as hold current inspectors accountable for their lack of enforcement. PHYLLIS F. KONG – address the lack of enforcement of the AWA.

This petition had 1,392 supporters

Whether animals in captivity are held in zoos, aquariums, circuses, or research laboratories, we as human beings must ask ourselves if this captivity is right morally. Is our intention to better the lives of the animals or merely provide a form of entertainment for monetary gain? It is clear that most of the businesses or “exhibitors” stated above, regardless of what they advertise to the public, use animals as commodities for their own economic benefit. By introducing animals as a product into a market like this, entities can increase their profit by decreasing the amount of money spent on the wellbeing of the animals. Thus, animals in captivity, specifically elephants, tigers, lions, bears and primates, suffer brutal living conditions in which they are physically and mentally affected. The animals spend a majority of their lives traveling or living in confined spaces, they are trained using cattle prods and blow torches for negative reinforcement, and they live in unnatural habitats.

To make matters worse, there is a horrendous lack of legislation to protect the animals, and a lack of personnel and resources to enforce such legislation. While there are lots of laws that regulate the possession and distribution of exotic animals, they often exclude circuses and zoos. The only federal legislation that applies to such businesses is the Animal Welfare Act of 1966, which has been audited seven times. The AWA is a loose system with vague laws and definitions that impose minuscule monetary fines. In fact, the AWA made it possible for anyone to buy an exotic animal as long as they have the money to purchase a license.

“What was surprising to me was my own supervisors were disappointed and unsupportive of my efforts to simply enforce the bare minimum standards in the Code of Federal Regulations. The USDA has a good ol’ boy relationship with the research industry and the laws are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. More than once, I was instructed by a supervisor to make a personal list of violations of the law, cut that list in half, and then cut that list in half again before writing up my inspection reports.”   - Dr. Isis Johnson-Brown, former USDA inspector

The US Department of Agriculture and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are responsible for this lack of justice, and we'd like to see them take a bigger role in protecting our beloved animals.


WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP: We encourage you not to go to zoos and circuses and find other forms of entertainment. Also, please boycott when a circus comes to your town. The reality is that there won’t be much change until there is widespread public awareness. So let’s take a pledge to educate ourselves and others, children especially, that animals in captivity is a serious issue.

Today: Brady is counting on you

Brady Doud needs your help with “Bob Goodlatte, Mike Johanns, Phyllis F. Kong: Bob Goodlatte – we demand that you create new legislation with clear rules and definitions to replace the AWA and address animal rights at a national level. This new legislation should include plans for increa”. Join Brady and 1,391 supporters today.