Movement grows to end abuse of circus animals

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Game-show host Bob Barker, actress “CSI” star Jorja Fox, Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) have joined forces to promote legislation to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

The Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act would “restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses,” according to an article published Thursday on It is a bill I fully support.

The story quotes Barker as saying “Exotic animals cannot be healthy and can’t even approach being happy in a traveling circus. They never know a day that is really pleasurable. We all have problems, but we all have good days. These animals don’t have good days.”

And it is noted that 20 other countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Peru, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and India have already passed similar laws.

The LA Times reports animal-welfare advocates wanted to bring a “bull hook”- which is used to train elephants – to a Capital Hill to show to lawmakers, but it was deemed too dangerous to pass through security. So this tool is too dangerous to even show to a Congressman, but it being used every day on circus elephants.

This news should be enough to urge representatives and senators to pass this legislation.

The LA Times piece also includes quotes from a statement from Feld Entertainment Inc., the producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus –

It claims the bill “discriminatorily targets”  traveling circuses and is “designed to censor entertainment and remove the right to let the American public choose for itself whether Ringling Bros. Circus, a 141-year-old American institution, can continue to operate.”

That statement deserves a Pack of Putrid Punditry Award. It is the elephants who have been “discriminatorily” targeted by the industry and have been abused and kept inhumanely confined. And no one is suggesting Ringling Bros. can’t continue to operate without the animals in the show. Are they suggesting the human performers are worthless?